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How To Get The Job You REALLY Want

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Sheri Welsh

Position Requirements: Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and 5+ years in consumer products marketing combined with previous management experience.

If you're a job seeker who is early in their career (or just trying to get started) you've seen job postings like this one - and no doubt felt discouraged, hesitating to apply - because you didn't meet the minimum requirements for the position. So how does an up and comer, fast tracking, rising star, got-the-talent-I-just-need -a- chance-to show-you individual get a break?

First let me acknowledge that employers advertise what they want for a reason - this is exactly what they think they need! But after 16 years in the executive search business I can tell you countless stories of companies who hired candidates who did not meet their exact position requirements. Why does this happen? It all boils down to one word: talent.

All great companies want to hire people who can have immediate impact in the position and in their organization - because they bring the perfect experience and background. The reality is that in today's workforce those people can often be extremely difficult to find - if not impossible. So the alternative is for companies to hire candidates that are as close as they can find to their ideal who also demonstrate some incredible potential (aka talent).

How do you get recognized as incredible, potential filled "talent"? Here's a few tips on how to make yourself stand out, even when you lack the experience "required" to do the job:

1. Develop some expertise in your field. Start out in a temp to hire job if you need to in order to gain experience. Don't be short sighted like the candidate I spoke with recently who turned down an entry level contract position in his professional field of study because it paid less than his manual labor job! Get started, working and gaining experience in your field any way you can.

2. Know your strengths. There are many great tools available today (Gallup Strengths Finder, Predictive Index, Myers-Briggs just to name a few) that will help you zero in on who you are and what you do well. Know yourself, know what you can do - and do well - and share that information on your resume as an example of your talent.

3. Volunteer, sharing your knowledge and expertise in your field of study with a non-profit organization that could benefit from your help - and you'll benefit from the experience, building a stronger professional background along the way. Volunteering is truly a win-win endeavor. In addition, employers always look very favorably on candidates who give back to their community.

4. Begin the process of achieving a professional certification in your field. Many career fields (Supply Chain, Human Resources, Accounting, Engineering) have organizations that offer certifications. Certifications and professional accreditations are impactful because they insure that you know a great deal about your profession - and because so few people choose to go through the hard work to get them. Earning a certification in your area of expertise will always help you get ahead.

Ultimately, if you take these steps you'll build a stronger resume, one that will stand out and demonstrate that you are a candidate with tremendous drive, initiative and talent. And a strong resume is what you need to get you to that first interview.

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