If you’ve ever had the thought: “I’ve applied to every job I see, but I don’t get called for an interview—what am I doing wrong?” or “Should I get certification in XYZ, is that what’s keeping me from getting a job?”, this article’s for you.
Let’s take a step back and look at the job search process as purely a buyer and seller transaction with employers as the “buyers” and employees as the “sellers.”
And as we all remember from our economics classes, buyers call the shots. You can call yourself a seller all you want, but if you’re trying to sell a product that no one wants to buy, you’re not going to get very far. You need to fit the requirements of the position—as dictated by the buyers—and clearly market yourself as that fit.
What this means from a job seeker perspective is if you consistently see that employers are requiring experience with a particular piece of software that you’ve never worked with before, for example—but that you fit all other requirements for the position—it would be well worth your time to look into learning that software.
Think of it this way, if you were faced with a pile of resumes that you needed to sort through, wouldn’t you start by looking at those people who possessed that unique certification or software experience you had asked for?
It’s your responsibility to make yourself hire-able. If the market of employers is dictating specific experience or certifications, as evidenced by the job descriptions you’re seeing—it’s your responsibility to look into learning it. Chances are there are some easy online resources to get you started, perhaps a friend of yours used to work with it and would be able to give you a tutorial, or any other unique resource can open up and help. But you need to at the very least, seriously investigate how to make it happen.
Another strategy is to see if there are any close comparisons between a piece of software that is similar to what they want, and what you’ve used. Start by researching the software they require in the job posting. Often either on the software company’s website or YouTube, you can find a tutorial/demo. Does it operate similarly to a piece of software you’ve used before? If so, you can write your resume as: Experience with Potato Software (Similar to French Fry Software), where French Fry is what the company is requiring.
The employer is the buyer. If you want to be bought, it’s critical that you try to meet them halfway.