Forty percent of U.S. employers report having difficulty filling jobs, according to a recent Manpower survey. The top reason cited was lack of technical competency, followed by absence of workplace “soft” skills. Positions most difficult to fill include everything from skilled trade work and sales to accounting and IT.
The good news for qualified job seekers is that this makes you a strong candidate. But what if you’re coming from a small business background, and you’re trying to land a corporate job? Although the move up might seem intimidating, your job hunt can be successful if you follow some strategic steps.
Know What Corporate Employers Are Looking For
Corporate HR departments don’t stress the same hiring criteria as small companies, according to CareerCast. Corporate employers place more weight on education and experience, and this means you should emphasize educational and experiential credentials in your resume when seeking employment with larger companies.
Pursue Educational Opportunities
Because corporate employers place high value on education, boosting your educational credentials can be a path to landing a job. A 2014 CareerBuilder survey found that 27 percent of employers had increased their educational requirements over the past five years, and 30 percent were now hiring college graduates for positions previously filled by applicants with high school diplomas. These figures are higher for companies hiring workers with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, rising respectively to 46 and 43 percent.
While some employers stress STEM qualifications, liberal arts skills remain valuable, reports the Association of American Colleges and Universities. AAC&U research has found that 95 percent of employers value problem solving, critical thinking and communications skills more highly than a candidate’s major. Eighty percent of employers agree that all college students should pursue a broad education in both the liberal arts and the sciences.
Likewise, it can help your job hunting odds to take continuing education classes in areas that hone job-related skill sets. For instance, Moody’s Analytics Advanced Corporate Credit Analysis seminar is geared toward credit professionals who want to raise their skills to a more advanced level. Taking this kind of course demonstrates to employers that you’re intent on excelling in your field.
When building the experiential part of your resume, emphasize your ability to manage multiple workplace challenges and learn new skills on the job. Former hiring manager Alison Green says candidates coming from a small business background have an advantage here, in that smaller companies often require employees to wear multiple hats. Be sure that your resume highlights your ability to handle a variety of tasks that might be useful to potential employers.
Build Your Social Resume
Ninety-four percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and screen candidates, Jobvite reported in its 2014 Job Seeker Nation Study, while 76 percent of job seekers who used social media in their search found their position through Facebook. This means that making your social media profiles consistent with your job search strategy should be a priority. Think of your social profiles as your personal brand, and make sure the image you emphasize is what you want employers to see. Your social profiles should emphasize the same educational, experiential and personal qualities you stress in your resume.
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