I have experience and skills – why can’t they see that and just hire me?
Think of yourself as a shoe. Are you a running shoe, a fashion boot or a rugged sandal? What size are you? Employers see resumes and candidates and they have to have a way to determine if they are the right “fit” for the organizations. How often do the shoes you order online fit well if you’ve never worn them before? Why should an employer pick you off the shelf? We have to let the employer know why we are the best “fit” for their organization.
The basic need is for us to be able to tell a potential employer why they should hire us. We need to turn around what we want (“opportunity to use my experience and skills,” salary and benefits, “challenge”) and concentrate on what we can do for them. Your resume and conversations need to clearly show how your skills, knowledge and experience is a benefit for them. Don’t make them try to guess.
Organizations, professions and fields have their own internal language for job titles and roles. We have to translate our accomplishments and expertise into a way that they can easily see what a great asset we will be for them. Too often opportunities are missed because we weren’t speaking the same language, especially when it comes to job titles and responsibilities. This is a big challenge for folks making military to civilian transitions, private to public sector changes, and across industries. You don’t need to ‘dumb down’ your resume or descriptions, just be ready with examples. There are some helpful websites starting with http://www.myskillsmyfuture.org and http://www.careeronestop.org/competencyModel/ Then look at the niche (profession) website job descriptions and begin to match your knowledge and skills with their terms.
If you want them to hire you (buy you) you have to show you are a good fit.