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BLOGBecoming the Perfect Candidate

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, New Job, Personal DevelopmentTagged as: ,

My coaching clients often will ask – how do I make myself perfect for an opportunity that I just became aware of?

Most people know the basics: do the research, do a ton of networking, write a great cover letter, and customize your resume. And make sure that you know the buzzwords. And if you are clever enough, you’ll get an interview, and eventually be offered the role.

Unfortunately, this is a recipe for disappointment.

Think about it: every hiring manager has a profile of the perfect candidate, and usually their requirements are very clearly described in the job spec and posting. Why would they hire anyone who does not have a tick-box on each and every requirement?

Experienced interviewers can smell someone who is not the real thing a mile away. How? Perhaps buzzwords were used just slightly incorrectly; maybe the candidate isn’t a long-time member of the industry association; or maybe the candidate doesn’t know who the movers and shakers are within the industry.

So, if you’re thinking of that promotion, or applying for a job, how do you make it happen? Here are some suggestions:

1) Define what your next perfect job will be.

2) Fill in the gaps between now and when you will be ready to take that job on. This might mean signing on for training, or perhaps getting a recognized certification. It might mean attending monthly trade association meetings, annual conventions, reading trade journals, or establishing a respectable blog. While this may seem like a lot of work, it is a 100% investment in yourself.

3) Look for tasks in your current role so that you can “stretch” your capabilities in the direction that you would like to go.

4) Finally, only apply where it is YOU who will be the perfect candidate.


This week, choose what filling in the gaps activities you should put on your calendar.

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