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Becoming Their “Top” Candidate

April 12th, 2013

The right mix of qualifications and opportunities in a job ad can easily make the advertising organization a “top” candidate on your own list. But how do you become a “top” candidate on theirs?

Whether you’ve just graduated with a professional degree or have been practicing for many years, you can take several steps toward making yourself a strong candidate for positions in your field. Here are just a few ways to strengthen your credentials and push your resume to the top of the pile.

  • Expand your skill set.  Many professionals are required to take continuing education classes in order to stay licensed in their field, but those who rise to the top in job searches are those who see this requirement as an opportunity rather than a burden. Use your continuing education time to learn about an area you don’t practice regularly or to give you the foundation you need to qualify for additional certifications or licenses. You’ll develop a well-rounded set of “hard” job skills that are particularly enticing to companies facing a looming “skills gap” among their current staff.
  • Work on your “soft” skills.  Skills like communication, negotiation, and organization aren’t position-specific. Instead, they improve your effectiveness and productivity in any job. Candidates who can demonstrate strong “soft” skills as well as solid “hard” skills often rise to the top during the recruitment process.  An added perk: you can develop “soft” skills in any paid or volunteer job, not just those whose subject matter relates to your career.
  • Know when to specialize.  Well-rounded candidates are appealing, but so are candidates known for their expertise in a particular field or topic. If you have a passion for, say, business valuation or information technology, don’t be afraid to develop it by research, publishing, regular practice, or other methods. It’s an easy way to enjoy your work while also building a reputation as a top mind in the field.
  • Work with a recruiter.  Recruiters who specialize in your field can help you clarify your career goals and focus your efforts on reaching them. A recruiter will help you look at your overall offerings as well as particular strengths and weaknesses, helping you develop your “top” candidacy.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our recruiters’ years of experience can provide invaluable help in your professional job search. To learn more or to browse our job opportunities in Minneapolis, contact us today!

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