Skills to Win!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I hope everyone is still hangin’ in there! So far, 2020 has challenged emotions, health, humanity, and for many, finances. Millions upon millions of people have either lost their jobs, or are starting to return to their once full-time positions as part-time employees. Life just does not look the same, which could also mean that good jobs may be even harder to get moving forward. So, what do employers look for? How do you highlight both your strengths and weaknesses in a way that makes you attractive to a hiring manager?

I’m a first-line manager by day, but I’m also responsible for filling open positions within my department, which means I also wear a hiring manager hat. I’ve reviewed hundreds of resumes over the past several years and filled dozens of positions ranging from interns to mid-career level professionals – from Contamination Control Specialists to Research Support Scientists to Mechanical Engineers. My department is fairly dynamic. There are certain things that I look for in a resume, and there are certain key words that lead me to call someone in for an interview. Your resume is the hiring manager’s first impression of you and your ability to do the job, and believe it or not, the effort that you put into writing it matters. Having a poor resume could put you out of the race before you even start running.

When I stopped to think about it, I realized that more poorly written resumes were coming across my desk that anything else, and that should not be the case – especially for professional positions. Several have been very good, but only a few have been GREAT. As a hiring manager, to a point, I want the people applying for the job to make this a hard decision for me. Make it difficult for me to decide who to call in for an interview because there are so many top-qualified people in the stack of resumes on my desk to choose from. Many times though, it’s the opposite, or at least challenging in a different way. I often have a hard time building my interview list because only a few out of several dozen potential candidates have the experience I’m looking for, but I can’t just interview only one or two people.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Because of this and the state of the job market today, I started thinking more about my experiences so far as a hiring manager, the importance of a good resume and the part it plays in getting a job. Enter Skills to Win! I wanted to develop a new series here on my blog that dives into the process of getting a job – from developing your skills, to drafting your resume, to excelling in the interview. I want to shed some light on how this process works from a different perspective in hopes of helping people get work in this new dynamic job market. I want you to win the job!

Stay with me as I dive into this more over the coming weeks!