Many of us, or our kids, would like a new phone for Christmas. And everyone has a very clear sense of which they would prefer: Apple vs. Android. The market is evenly split between the two – my own family is evenly split.
We all have one or two reasons for our choice. My kids prefer Samsung because a memory card can be easily added to store all their music and videos. For me, it is iPhone now that the newest operating system allows me to move from phone to iPad, iMac or MacBook and to continue to work on any application. Others prefer the simplicity of iPhones with one app for each use vs. a Samsung phone which may include apps added by Samsung and Verizon adding redundancy and confusion.
The relevancy to a job search is three-fold:
- You must be able to communicate your unique distinguishing experience, skills and personality traits vs. your peer group so that potential employers can quickly determine whether you offer what they seek, or not, i.e., do you have an SD slot or don’t you. As I review hundreds of resumes, LinkedIn Profiles and meet with executives, I would say that I cannot answer that question 100% of the time; and when I ask the candidate to tell me their unique characteristics, most cannot.
- Employers are evaluating candidates exactly like you are choosing a phone based on your needs. A CEO may be seeking a CFO that will have 3 distinguishing experiences: IPOs, overseeing successful SAP implementations, and overseas manufacturing. If you have those 3 characteristics, the CEO will be anxious to meet you; if you don’t easily answer those questions on your resume, cover email or LinkedIn Profile, you will be tossed aside; if the answer is you lack those experiences, there will be no interest in meeting you.
- Which leads us to targeting companies that match our distinguishing characteristics. If I have the IPO, SAP and foreign manufacturing experiences, I am going to target private companies that are Private Equity backed, manufacture abroad and do not have SAP in place. Public companies with SAP in place do not need two of my distinguishing characteristics and would prefer experience I lack.
So as you write your Christmas shopping lists matching products to loved ones, keep in mind employment decisions are no different: presenting what you uniquely offer …. to those who need those unique characteristics. That recognition leads to a highly strategic, and effective, job search. Happy holidays!