Successful Job Searching - Do You Have What It Takes?
Successful Job Searching - Do You Have What It Takes?
Let’s assume you have good qualifications for the positions you’re targeting (which is not always a safe assumption). Does that mean you’re assured of conducting a successful job search–i.e., one that results in the job offer you want?

Not necessarily. Whether you’re a senior-level executive or someone who’s still pursuing a higher level, you have a lot more work ahead of you than just feeling good about the match between your qualifications and your desired position.

What Really Makes You Valuable to Employers?

To present yourself as a potentially high-value asset to prospective employers, you need to make a clear case for what you can bring to them. The two articles referenced below offer their take on why and how you need to do this:
  • Why your next job depends on mastering the six ‘Qs’: According to the author, you need these six qualities in order to really impress potential employers: (1) IQ: Smarts and critical thinking skills; (2) EQ: Emotional intelligence quotient; (3) PQ: Passion quotient; (4) CQ: Cultural quotient; (5) CRQ: Courage quotient; and (6) IMQ: Improvisation quotient.

  • A CEO Reveals How to Increase Your Value as an Employee:While this article refers primarily to when you’re already employed, it has relevance for your upcoming job search as well. One of its main points is that “Value is Not the Same Thing as ‘Years on the Job.'” If you take a savvy approach to building your value on the job, you’ll have a stronger case for impressing potential future employers with your value when you’re job searching. Simply outlasting other employees is not enough, and that’s definitely true when you’re in management.
Your Career Case Studies

Companies often use customer case studies to attract the interest of new customers they’re targeting. Those studies are carefully selected to demonstrate how the company has added value to its customers by helping them solve troublesome problems, open up new opportunities, and end up more competitive and profitable while doing that.

Your job search can absolutely benefit from similar attention–career case studies that illustrate compellingly how you have helped employers achieve outstanding success by applying your unique value to the challenges you encountered. Numbers are great if you have them–if they’re good numbers. However, you can still craft stories that demonstrate your value even if you can’t always put a number to the accomplishment. Think about why it was important that you did whatever you did and what the downside would have been if you hadn’t done it.

As you go up the corporate ladder (take on more and more responsibility), your stories will naturally change. For example, instead of being the “star” of the sales team, with the highest individual sales, you might now be the VP of Sales, with management responsibility for a 10-member team and a revenue-generating target in the millions of dollars annually. What your team accomplishes can now be at least as important as what you personally do, if not more so.

So…Do You Have What It Takes?

Successful job searching is never going to be a slam-dunk. The question you need to ask yourself is, “What do I need to do to make my job search successful, and am I able–and willing–to put in the work needed to get me there?” If your answer is “yes,” you’re ready to charge ahead. If it’s “no” or “maybe,” you might have to go back to the drawing-board and rethink your choices.