There are few things more disheartening for those who have just started their job search than being told they aren’t cut out to be a subject matter expert. This is a dismissal that can set up a vicious cycle that results in little progress on the job front and little progress on the resume front. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of a job search and lose track of the details. This article will help you keep on track.
First, if you aren’t a subject matter expert, don’t worry. You aren’t alone and you aren’t wrong. Just because you’re a good listener and you’ve done your homework doesn’t mean you’re automatically ready to be labeled as a subject matter expert. Don’t allow yourself to be convinced that your qualifications are clearly defined by your job search experience.
Second, don’t get caught up in the excitement or stress of a job search. Focus on what you can control and leave everything else for others. For example, if you know you’ll be interviewing with managers, focus on what qualities you’ll bring to the table that will make you a valuable resource. Write down your goals for the job and be realistic and you’ll be much more likely to succeed.
Third, you are likely to look and act like a subject matter expert when you’re serious about getting a new job. However, when you’re not working toward an interview and you’ve done all of the appropriate things to prepare, you can still come across as looking a bit too casual. So, work on your interviewing skills.
Fourth, don’t assume that your resume will do the magic. When you’re doing your job search, know that your resume is a tool that can be used by employers to select you based on your qualifications. However, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all. Employers will also evaluate your skills, work history, certifications, and other personal attributes.
Fifth, remember to network. Networking is an essential part of looking like a subject matter expert. If you don’t have family or friends who work in the same field as you, join organizations, community groups, and professional organizations that could use your help and expertise. Don’t underestimate networking opportunities during your job search, even if you feel that you don’t need them. Your networking can be just as valuable as any of the other suggestions in this article.
Sixth, keep your motivation up. The days of easy living and comfortable jobs are over for good. Times are tougher, and so are the opportunities in your job search. Keep yourself motivated and stay focused on getting hired. Even during times that you think that there may be nothing going on, keep looking for opportunities elsewhere. Opportunities to grow and develop in your career will always come around, so don’t let them go away.
Finally, don’t give up. While there are no guarantees that you will find the job you want, there is a lot to be said for persistence. Remember that there is always another job out there somewhere, and keep looking. You may have to go the extra mile to land that job, but it won’t be difficult at all. So, when looking like a subject matter expert during a job search, keep these tips in mind, and you’ll do just fine.
First of all, consider the type of position that you’re looking like a subject matter expert for. Some people prefer to work within the medical or insurance field. Other people enjoy the arts, or even the social sciences. Whatever your preferred area of expertise, be sure that you know where you can get a job, and then take that opportunity to plug yourself into the hiring machine that is the internet.
Next keep looking for openings that don’t involve a deadline. There are going to be times when you’re unable to wait for an interview or a phone call. However, when there’s no job hunting to do, remember that the internet is still the best place to put a resume on and keep looking. Simply find an appropriate job on a job board or LinkedIn and submit. This may only take a few minutes, but it will get you results. Try not to settle for the first couple of listings you get, because that could mean you won’t have any luck finding something, especially in the case of an emergency job search.
Finally, once you have the results in hand, compare your resume and the job side by side. You can use an automated tool like Jobscan to keep an eye out for keywords in your subject line that are used repeatedly, or for specific skills you believe would be valuable for a position you’re interested in.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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