Throughout the world today, many employers are having problems finding the workers they need, and one of the big reasons they cite for this is applicants’ lack of experience.
The lack of experience problem crops up with first-time job seekers because they have no experience, and for those who have been in the workforce, it becomes a problem when their skills or experience do not match exactly the kind of experience the employer is looking for.
The problem has become even more acute with the downturn in the economy, as employers, trying to do more with fewer people, have been combining parts of jobs or even entire jobs into new positions. This adds to the confusion as job candidates try to figure out from the new job descriptions if they have the skills and background to handle the work.
So, if you are looking for a job, how do you handle this problem? There are several things, according to business executive Tammy Johns.
One thing to do is to stop using the laundry list of skills and experience on the resume. Instead, talk about your abilities and tie them to the needs of the employer, to show how your abilities can help the company achieve its goals. This also will help you better show your qualifications if you lack experience.
Also, know your skills, knowledge and abilities well enough that you can show how they apply to the job description that outlines the exact experience wanted. Even if the job has a different name than the one on your resume, you can show how the skills you have are transferable.
Also, you have to keep trying to improve your skills and gain more experience. What skills do you still need to develop? What skills will help you develop your career? Then take courses or volunteer to try and get those skills.
On the other side, if you are in human resources, what can you do to increase the chances of finding the right person when you advertise for a position?
One thing to do is to focus on the most important skills, abilities and attitudes that are needed for the job, instead of simply creating a grab bag of all of the skills that could possibly be used in doing the job. If you are clear about the most important skills that are needed, the odds are that you will get a more limited but more qualified applicant pool, rather than everyone who sees themselves as having any of the long list of skills that are advertised.
Also, think about how you list the job title. You need to use titles that describe the nature of the job as it is practiced now, not in the past. The same care needs to be taken with emerging jobs, such as cloud computing and green jobs.
Whether looking for work or looking for great workers, contact the Opti Staffing Group. We have offices in Anchorage, Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Lake Oswego, and Chicago and we look forward to hearing from you!