Ways to Tell Your Story & Impress When You’ve Been Out of Work
As if job searching wasn’t challenging enough, having to make a case that you’re still relevant and applicable when you’ve been out of work for some time can come across as an even greater challenge. Learn to effectively apply SAR statements (Situation-Action-Result statements) in resume-writing and in communication with prospective employers for greater impact!
Employers are impressed by candidates who can relate to situations and challenges of the job. They are especially impressed by the job candidate who can speak of specific actions taken that led to direct results. So, while you may have been out of a job for some time, there may be recent experiences through volunteer work or other contract jobs, and your previous experience that’s directly relevant to the employer.
Keep your mind set to impress with what you’re capable of doing and show proof of it by applying SAR statements following these techniques:
Quantify and Qualify Results
There’s minimal credibility and impact to your statements unless you can back up the results. If you’re going to say you’ve exceeded expectations on the job, it needs to be backed up with numbers. While there may be some results that aren’t necessarily quantifiable by percent or dollar figures, they may be qualified through other forms like recognition awards received, etc. More tips on how to quantify and qualify results may be found in the article: “How to Quantify your Accomplishments.”
Lead Your Statements with Results
While SAR stands for Situation-Action-Results, in telling your story, you must start with the critical information of “Results” first. Think about what positive impact you’ve made with your previous employer? That’s your hook to grabbing the contact’s attention. Once you have their attention, you can delve into the two other parts of “Situation” and “Action” to further highlight how the experience is relevant and the skills applied are applicable to the prospective employer’s situation. To win over the employer, it’s necessary to clearly define for them how you’re the right fit for the job and what it is exactly that you’ll be able to bring to the table.
Other Things to Do
Depending on your profession there may be specific skills that are desirable. Consider taking a course or training to show employers you have updated skills for the job. Also, equally important is staying current with industry news. Know the latest trends and development by reading up on industry trade publications. When you can carry out an intelligent conversation that informs employers you’re up-to-date on the latest happenings in the field and industry, even if you’ve been out of a job for some time, it shows you have the knowledge and know-how to compete and succeed.
While being unemployed and job searching is a greater uphill battle than someone who’s already employed and job searching, the key is to project confidence and to remain positive in it all. Employers understand the career path is bound to come with bumps in the road. Professionals take time off to care for the family; they may be part of a layoff; or it be some other reason – just be upfront and honest while focusing on the positive message – you’re enthusiastic about coming back to the workforce and have the will and power to make use of experience and skills to bring about results!