It’s one thing to want a better job. It’s another thing to actually get a better job.
No matter the state of the economy, top candidates are always in demand by companies. That’s a comforting thought, but it also begs a very important question: are YOU a top candidate?
First of all, what does it mean to be a top candidate? Statistically speaking, it means being in the top 25% of your industry. That also means, of course, that you’re considered a better candidate than at least 75% of everybody else.
Whereas you might already think that describes you, it’s better to conduct an analysis that’s more in line with what a potential employer is thinking.
Below are five questions for determining if you’re a top candidate:
#1—Do I have a quantifiable track record of success?
It’s not enough just to claim success. You must also prove it with the appropriate data. If you increased sales, how did you increase sales and over what time period did you do so? You’ll need to provide all of the information that explains this. Keep in mind that success can be defined in different ways. For example, being asked to be a guest speaker is good validation that you’re well regarded in your industry. Times have definitely changed, and companies are looking for more than just a letter of reference.
#2—Do I continuously improve my skills?
Once again, it’s not a matter of just answering in the affirmative, but also of being able to list your accomplishments in this area. A potential employer is going to want to know how you reached this point in your career, including all of the steps you’ve taken to hone existing skills and acquire new ones along the way. This pertains not just to how you’ve improved your skills to grow your career, but also how you’ve improved within specific positions to increase your value as an employee in those positions.
#3—Have I proven my stability?
True, the days of staying at the same company for 30 years and retiring are over, but companies are not enamored with a serial “job hopper,” either. If you’ve stayed between three and five years with each previous employer, then you’re generally considered a low-risk hire.
#4—Have I made wise career decisions?
Your career path should be more of a trajectory, one that illustrates your “climb up the ladder” in pursuit of bigger, more rewarding challenges. Employers want candidates who consistently make wise decisions regarding important matters in their life. Once those candidates become employees, they want those employees to continue pursuing upward mobility, specifically through promotion for the achievement of goals and overall exemplary performance.
#5—Do other people think I’m a top candidate?
This speaks directly to your list of references, those people prepared to vouch for your professional prowess. Would they put you in the top 25% of the industry . . . or is there some doubt there? Keep in mind that you may want to switch up your references based upon the job for which you’re applying, so that you don’t “burn them out” from overuse. Also keep in touch with your references to make sure that the endorsement they give you will be a glowing one.
Remember: only the top 25% is in demand all of the time. If you’re not in that percentile, take the steps necessary to ensure that you are there. You owe it yourself and to your career.
Let Neil Goldman and Associates show you how we can be of help to you.
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