All Jobs in Ashburn, VA
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JOB SEARCH TIPS
Should I apply for a job that I am not qualified for?
After searching through hundreds of job openings, you find the one – the job you’ve always wanted with a great company. After reading the requirements, you are deflated because you don’t exactly meet all the position requirements. Should you apply or are you just wasting everyone’s time? This really depends on how close you are to meeting the requirements and the employer’s expectations. For example, if you only meet 1 or 2 of the qualifications, the employer is seeking someone to hit the ground running, or the job is for a senior level position in a field for which you have no experience – you are not at all qualified and should not apply. Conversely, if there are only 1 or 2 of the qualifications you are missing or the employer is seeking lifelong learners – you are a little underqualified and should still apply. If you are still on the fence, throw your hat in the ring – the worst case is you get rejected and have a learning experience to apply to your future job search efforts.
What skills do employers value the most?
You just read through a bunch of job ads and are inundated with long lists and bullet points of “Essential Requirements”. You might even feel a little out of your league wondering if your skills match up to the competition. The truth is, most employers are looking for qualities in a candidate that are rarely listed in the job ad. What are these qualities? Problem solving - describe how you took on a challenge with minimal direction. Communication – provide examples how clear communication with others (including listening and following directions) resulted in a career success. Happy to learn new things – if you like to read or watch How-To videos on Youtube, say so. Proactive – show that you’ve already been thinking about this position by asking questions and anticipating challenges. If you can figure out a way to weave keywords and examples of these qualities into your application process, cover letter and certainly in your interview, you will have a successful job search.
Did your employment application just get tossed by a robot?
Online job postings receive an average of 425 applications. 60% of employers use some sort of automated screening that allows them to quickly get to the shortlist of candidates. So even if you are a perfect fit for the position, there is a chance your application is tossed for missing a minor detail. First and foremost, read the application instructions carefully: all required fields must be completed, include “N/A” in optional questions that are not applicable to you and avoid using special characters. Triple check your grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation. Use the exact keywords from the job posting in your application – the more often the job posting repeats customer service, the more important that keyword is to the automated screening. Additionally, identify the key responsibilities and requirements – for example if you applying to work in a warehouse you may see terms like “Forklift”, “Material Handling Equipment”, “Receiving” and “Unloading”. Make a list and get those keywords in your application.
No work experience? No worries. How to find a job anyway.
It can be quite a conundrum – employers want to hire candidates with experience, but if you’re a first-time job seeker or have not worked in a long period of time, how can you have experience? The first step is understanding that anything task that required you to be responsible, solve problems and/or learn new skills can be considered work experience even if you were not paid. So that time you spent babysitting, housesitting, volunteering, washing cars and walking dogs for the neighbors or raising children all exemplify qualities that employers deem valuable. This is work experience that you can be proud to tout. Ideally, you are able to apply the skills you used and those you learned to doing these tasks to the position you are applying to.