This person wants the same job as you….their resume looks like this. Are you worried yet?
So, ever since you graduated you’ve been making steady progress with gradual promotions but now you’re entering the phase of your career where you really need to kick-on.
If you don’t, you’re worried that you’ll plateau at the current stage for ever…
It’s a common concern.
Everything seems so free and easy when you’re younger. When you first burst onto the scene you’re the young go-getter, the up-and-comer, the new whizz kid on the block.
Forward momentum is taken for granted. It comes easy because your good at what you do, you’re vibrant, fresh, energetic, keen to impress, and…not jaded.
Promotions have come easy so you’ve never really bothered thinking about why people should hire you, they just have. You’ve never really considered your unique value proposition. You’ve never sat down and quantified your accomplishments. You’ve never had to.
However, you’re now at that stage in your career where you realize you’ve plateaued. You know you need to move forward, but it’s not as easy as it once was.
You’ve gone for 2 interviews for advancement at your current company and didn’t get the job. You’ve started looking externally and even had 2 interviews with other firms, but you didn’t get the role.
What’s going on?
Tougher Competition, Less Opportunity
The further up the ladder you go, opportunities for advancement eventually start to dwindle. When you start getting into that management stratum and above, not only are opportunities at that level less abundant than lower level roles, they’re also extremely well contested.
So, your job interview success ratio will take a bit of a hit at this level.
Now you’re COMPETING for roles for the first time.
It feels different doesn’t it?
Now, if you’re not getting to that next stage you need to quickly assess the reasons why. And QUICKLY.
Are you simply not qualified for the next level?
If you’ve not looked after your own professional development then eventually this will bite you. You’ll get to that stage where people are not only looking for experience, but also specialized education that helps differentiate you from all those other people jostling for the top jobs.
I see it all the time – people being overlooked not because they don’t have the experience, but because other candidates have the experience PLUS they’ve gone and taken an MBA, specialized leadership course, or high-level technical certificate etc. At the top tier, you need to show you’ve evolved not just professionally, but academically as well.
If you’re lacking education – you need to remedy that as quickly as possible.
It goes without saying that the presentation of your information is critical as well.
You need to be able to give the hiring manager solid reasons for wanting to meet you to discuss the target role. Your resume has to be tip top, you must be able to articulate your unique selling proposition, and you need to be able to quantify your accomplishments.
I’ve discussed this elsewhere in my blog and materials. In brief, if you’ve never actually sat down and figured out all the reasons why someone would hire you, or why you’re better than other candidates targeting the job you’re going for…..you need to do it QUICKLY.
It’s all in the Marketing
Now, here’s the thing.
You’re not advancing, but, the person coming up behind you that has a resume that looks like this.
Are you worried yet?
No? Well, maybe you should be.
If you’re career marketing documents aren’t top class, you could continue to lose out on roles, and you run the risk that other people coming up behind you or seeking a lateral move start pitching their value to your boss with documents that show them in their best light.
I’d argue that at any stage in your career, you should be working with the best set of career documents you can muster.
Why? I believe it could help get your better jobs than you would have gotten without them or help you secure promotions you may not otherwise have secured because you are able to sell these other people on the value you can offer their company.
It’s an important piece of the puzzle.
Put it this way. If you can’t tell an employer why they should interview you, they probably won’t.
The document used to tell them employer why they should interview you, is the resume and cover letter.
Get these two documents to the point where they couldn’t be any better.
Then start brushing up on your interview technique.
That topic is for another day.
The time is now! You need to move forward.