Contributed by Caroline Ceniza-Levine of SixFigureStart
If flexibility, versatility and cross-training are all the rage these days, why do recruiters seem to hold so firmly to the belief that a candidate must “fit the profile” exactly?
The above question is valid, and it demonstrates why boilerplate qualities with no substance or tangible metrics attached are meaningless.In the above example, flexibility, versatility and cross-training are the boilerplate qualities. Many job descriptions ask for these. Therefore, these are not going to be the deciding factors; they’re a given. Instead you need to find what makes that job unique, how that will be measured and appeal specifically to that. When you do that, you fit the profile, and that’s what employers and recruiters want.
How does the position contribute to the bottom line?
Focus on that responsibility and give specific examples of when you did just that. If these examples are in a different industry or functional context, explain explicitly how you would handle this in the industry/ function for which you are interviewing.
What are the management and reporting requirements of the position?
If you need to manage direct reports, give examples of when you managed direct reports. If you need to report into different areas, give examples of when you worked cross-functionally.
What is the success culture of this company?
Do your homework to identify what personality traits are specifically valued for this company. Then showcase how you have these traits, not the traits that every company says they want (work ethic, team spirit, flexibility, versatility, blah, blah, blah).
Many jobseekers position themselves so generically that they seem to be saying, “I fit any job.” You want to demonstrate that you fit a specific job. Specificity is the key to a successful job search.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart, a career coaching firm comprised exclusively of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Prior to launching SixFigureStart, Caroline recruited for Accenture, Booz Allen, Citigroup, Disney ABC, Oliver Wyman, Time Inc, TV Guide and others. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask how you can attend a free SixFigureStart group coaching teleclass.