If you want a career in freelancing, you are often told to become a specialist rather than a jack-of-all-trades, but this is actually true in any job search. Whether you just graduated college with a major and two minors, or have previous experience in three jobs that don’t look alike, it’s time to hone in on one aspect of your resume.
When you are searching for a job, you need to start by firmly deciding what you want to do, and what you are really good at. It also helps to look at what jobs are in high demand. Check job boards and company sites and look for trends. If you find you need a little more training to be considered an expert in a field, look for some training courses, and consider getting certified. This will speak for itself on your resume, and highly trained professionals generally make more money.
Then you can start to think about what you want your job to look like, and who you want to be working for. What kinds of problems do you want to solve? What kinds of businesses have these problems? This will help you search for jobs that meet your criteria and narrow down your options.
Once you have found some job options that match what you are looking for, tailor your resume and portfolio to showcase the skill you’re a specialist in. Find ways to speak directly to that skill in all of your previous work, or leave it out. Each resume you send out should include keywords from the specific job listing, and include a cover letter that speaks directly to the job you’re applying for. Sending out generic resumes and cover letters generally doesn’t warrant responses.
Quantify your accomplishments with real figures, and be sure your portfolio clearly highlights what you are offering. Even better, start a digital portfolio to show off your work, and begin a blog that shows off your expertise in the subject matter. If you guest blog for other websites or even have engaging comments on your own articles, it will greatly build your credibility.
When you portray yourself as an expert or specialist, and begin to hone your skills into one area of expertise, you’ll have much more direction in your job search. It also gives employers more incentive to hire you when you are an expert in the position they need filled.
Not only will you be searching for a job you really want, but you’ll also be able to ask for a better salary when you are perceived as an expert in your field – the combination of every job seeker’s dreams.