Lost in the Organisation

Applying for a new job is a massive challenge. After reading the position description and getting a clearer understanding of what the role requires, your resume might need to be changed, yet again. The application can become a project: hours of recalling information from all the organisations you’ve worked in over the last 5 to 10 years. And therein lies the problem.

Many applicants mistakenly provide excellent descriptions of previous organisations they have worked for. We can learn more about the organisation than the applicant. It is crucial to bring to centre stage what skills and qualities YOU bring and how these competencies might transfer and translate to successful outcomes in the new position.

It is a competitive market and research tells us that hiring managers generally spend 7 seconds to read a job application. They are searching for special capabilities. They have a need for your services, not the services of the organisations you have worked for in the past.

If hiring managers were to invest additional time in extricating skills and experience from four A4 pages of data, will they rapidly be rewarded in finding what they are looking for? Are you pitching yourself effectively? Or, are you unintentionally proposing the services of another organisation for the new role?

In building a picture of yourself addressing past challenges and how you approached problem solving and achieving quantifiable results, you can certainly use the strength of an organisation’s brand. Stating your title will be an indicator as to your level of seniority, especially if you have been managing direct reports. You might take this opportunity to personalise your particular approach. Without a doubt, past activities will resonate, but only if they are relevant to what the future employer wishes to achieve through this position.

It is your storyline and it is all about YOU. Design your resume to ensure you and your successes are differentiated from the organisation, so use the organisation to support – but not overshadow – your pitch.

Another area which can cast a shadow is being a team member. It is a commendable quality. For example, being a team player as someone who plays basketball and doesn’t hog the ball. However, if you are aspiring to a leadership role, are you also putting yourself forward as a team leader who provides guidance, instruction, direction and leadership? 

Proclaiming who you are, rather than announcing services provided by past organisations and purely team success, will ensure YOU stand out in a crowded market.

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Eilleen Shields

About Eilleen Shields

Eilleen Shields is Principal Partner of Shield Talented Professionals, a Proactive Recruiting Partner and Job Ready Coach with expertise in ICT, Project Management, Training and Recruiting

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