Job seekers are often surprised that while they hear the job market is "hot," they are not getting bites on the resumes they submit to recruiters and application systems. If you are in this situation, I would highly recommend sitting down to determine your “marketability.”
By “marketability,” I mean the skills, industries and projects you have experience with that are most in demand for jobs managers are filling. Marketability is NOT always your most recent job, your favorite job or your biggest project and certainly not where you’ve made the most money. I assure you that if you take time to define your most marketable skills, you will see better results with your job search.
The easiest way I’ve helped job seekers identify their marketable skills is to look at it as your top three roles, industries and types of projects. (See diagram.)
For example, a highly marketable IT Project Manager background might look something like this:
The benefit to thinking of your skills in groups of three is protecting yourself from NOT being marketable. For example, if the retail industry stops hiring, this IT Project Manager could also work with healthcare or technology.
Another benefit is that this prevents a job seeker from being a “Jack of all trades, master of none." Today’s hiring managers are not only asking for the similar technology and project experience but also the industry experience in order to be able to ramp up more quickly on their projects.
What if you can’t fill out all three circles for roles, industries and projects? I suggest to those job seekers that they write in the areas where they would like to develop their experience. As a result, the job seeker now has a 2-5 year career path. When they apply to jobs, they will want to pursue jobs that will allow them to build their experience in those missing areas.
The bottom line is that a job search can be a frustrating, tedious process. However, if you understand your experiences in terms of the value you can bring to a new employer, you will have the opportunity to meet several great managers for several positions that fit what you want in your next job!
Looking for more information on this topic, please see Three Resume Tips to Land that Project Manager Job and How to Work with a Recruiter to Get the Job.