Finding a new job – be specific

A friend with a long resume, depth in a couple of disparate fields – asked me yesterday how to go about finding a new job. She wants to take advantage of her unique, and potentially quite valuable, combination of skills – but there is no obvious job description to fit.

We talked about how employers aren’t going to make any effort to tailor something for you – unless perhaps you are interviewing with your father-in-law! But they will surely be interested in you if hiring you will solve the problem they have. And to them it will be quite a specific problem. They are not looking for just “a marketing director” or “a web designer”. They have a specific challenge to overcome – whether it be to reach sports nuts who play video games, or they need someone who understands the ins and outs of the gravestone business, or who can make a complex data driven website with deep functionality and an offbeat sense of humor.

This thinking applies equally to independents and freelancers as well as to staffers.

So when you eventually get their ear or your resume or portfolio comes into their view – you will need to be specific too, about what problem you are especially suited to solve for them. When you are applying for a job, it’s not about you – it’s about solving the employer’s problem and that problem is quite clearly defined in her mind. In her mind is where you need to be.

So be specific when you market yourself. It works. More on this over the coming weeks.