WEST MICHIGAN — The thought of landing a job right now can be daunting, so Fox 17 spoke with career coach Fran Berrick, founder of spearmintcoaching.com. Berrics said regardless of whether you’re launching your career right out of college, or in a career transition in your 40's or 50's, you have to identify your marketable skills and be able to communicate them in a straightforward manner to your potential employer.
“They want to know what you bring to the table and why you’re here for the future, and if you can’t communicate that in a compelling manner, you really are at a disadvantage,” Berrick told Fox 17. “Whether it’s creating a better widget or creating a better process, if you can’t get past that, you’re never going to get to the point where they are looking for what I call, suitability.”
If you have to take just any job, or what some might call a “lesser job” to make ends meet right now, Berrick says you can also volunteer to improve your skill set or go through a local organization like Michigan Works for more low cost training.
“It doesn’t have to be expensive and employers don’t care where you got the skills, as long as you have them,” Berrick said.
Berrick says networking is also helpful in hearing about jobs and perhaps giving you a leg up on an interview, but it’s not just the traditional ways you may be thinking.
Berrick reminded us to not forget about those warm contacts, people you already know at a company because some businesses offer referral incentives to employees who bring talent into their company, so they would have a monetary incentive for helping you.
And Berrick said considering that employers only spend about 90 seconds on a resume, you need to be very succinct in your cover letter. Berrick said start it by addressing their needs specifically, explaining to them how you have done what they’re hiring for.
“The second paragraph can talk about your understanding of the company, and then you can ask for an interview or that you ‘look forward to meeting them in person, continuing the discussion’. But really short and sweet, three tight paragraphs tops,” Berrick told Fox 17.