How Managers Can Stand Out When They Go Looking For Their Next Job

You are going to have to know the new rules for finding a job
You are going to have to know the new rules for finding a job Image Credit: Steve Corey

So let’s face facts, the Covid-19 pandemic changed just about everything. How managers can use their manager skills to go about finding their next job was one of the things that has changed. Sure, we used to all know what we had to do when we went looking for our next opportunity. However, when the world got turned upside down during the pandemic, it turns out that a lot of companies used this as an opportunity to change how they go about hiring. This means that managers need to understand how the game is now being played even without any manager training on how to do that.

The Pandemic Changed Everything

The good news for managers is that after the pandemic, there are glimmers of a sustained jobs recovery – and that means new opportunities for prepared job seekers. There are reasons for managers to believe the latest uptick in job creation has more legs than similar spurts. The number of help-wanted ads has returned to pre-pandemic levels, fueled in part by more high-wage openings in technology and finance. Weekly unemployment claims have fallen to their lowest levels in months.

As hiring accelerates, millions of unemployed Americans will be vying for openings alongside managers jockeying for new jobs and promotions. Yet, the pandemic’s impact on the job hunt is likely to linger: managers will need to be prepared for virtual interviews and onboarding. They may need to pick up new skills, or perhaps reinvent themselves for the next phase of their career. Whether the pandemic has left you unemployed, underemployed or gearing up for the next step, you realize that you will need to stand out in the crowd.

You Need To Get Your Résumé In Front Of A Human

Managers realize that before your résumé even reaches a recruiter, it will need to charm a piece of software. You can make this happen by adding certain keywords – the terms most relevant to the job you’re seeking. For an engineer, that can mean listing programming languages you are fluent in, for a quality inspector it can mean listing what processes you follow. Using those words that are going to be important to the recruiter in your résumé is a key first step. You should keep your résumé to one page. Once your résumé makes it to a recruiter, they may only have a few seconds or a few minutes to spend on an initial scan and so you don’t want it to be too long.

After your résumé gets by the robots and recruiters, it has a chance to gain the attention of hiring managers. Including a succinct summary or objective statement at the top of your résumé can help. Consider this your brief but important way to give that hiring manager or that recruiter a contextualized overview of your experience with respect to the role. Recruiters will want to know what have you worked on, and what were the results? Managers need to be careful because résumés can get flowery and hard to understand, so ensure that you have real clarity around what you’ve done.

Remember That Timing Is Everything

Managers need to realize that once a job is posted online the clock is ticking, and applications that come in at the end of the submission window may already be handicapped. Sifting through the applications and interviewing the candidates begins almost immediately, and there likely will be internal candidates as well as finalists for previous vacancies all jockeying for the role. Managers should make thoughtful – but swift – edits to their résumé and cover letter. Realize that a couple of days might be the difference between a job being there or being filled by the time you apply. One thing that a manager can do is to set alerts on online job sites and other sites for when relevant jobs are posted. By doing this you can let the tools do some of that work for you.

Always “Network, Network, Network”

Managers need to keep in mind that even as you’re working to get your résumé noticed, you can’t forget networking. Think of this like a form of team building. As you tap professional contacts they include details that may elicit particular advice. When you’re networking with the people you know, do not say ‘I’m looking for a job.’ Instead, you will want to say instead, ‘I really have great organizational skills. That has to help me get a job. Do you have any idea about that?’ What you want to do is to be a little bit more specific. Even in the case that you don’t know anyone at the company or the field where you’re applying for a job, try making contacts at professional or trade organizations.

Managers have to understand that some job descriptions may read like an unachievable wishlist. However, that shouldn’t necessarily stop you from applying. ‘Preferred requirements’ or ‘nice to haves’ don’t mean that you have to have that skill set to apply for the job. What you will have to do is to explain in your cover letter how your existing skills can translate to the role you are seeking. You should go for it if you have most of those things because you believe that the skills that you have will work out well in that role. Assuming that you’re ready to get into something new, if you’re open to stretching yourself, you can learn those other three to four things that maybe you don’t have right now.

What All Of This Means For You

When it comes time for a manager to find their next job, it’s going to be important that they go about doing this in the correct way. We need to understand that the Covid-19 pandemic caused many companies to change the way that they go about hiring candidates. Given this, managers need to make adjustments to how they locate and apply for open positions. If you can master these new skills, the job that you want can be yours.

The first thing that a manager needs to realize is that if they want to have any hope of getting a specific job, they are going to have to work to get their resume in front a human being. One way to make this happen is to pepper your resume with the right types of key words. A succinct summary of your skills can help grab a recruiter’s attention. Time is of the essence when applying for jobs. Managers have to move quickly or otherwise the job that they want may be filled. Finally, always be networking Meet people and be specific what you are looking for. Don’t be put off by job openings that come with a list of requirements that you don’t have.

Managers can get the next job in their career. However, we need to go about doing this in a smart way. We need to realize that changes in the hiring process have been caused by the pandemic. We need to adjust to the new way that the world works. If we can make modifications to how we go about looking for our next job, then we will be able to successful find and obtain it.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Where do you think the best place for a manager to start looking for a new job is?

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