How to fit your Skills and goals with an employer

Looking for a job when your background isn't the greatest can be difficult. One way to ease the problem is in matching your skills and strengths with potential jobs. If you start researching possible jobs before applying to them, fitting into the company will be much easier. Researching the job will also help you in presenting your ability to fill the employers' needs at the interview. There are three ways to gain the information you will need about a job before the interview.

  • Data Gathering Questions
  • Researching The Job
  • Matching Skills to the Job

Data Gathering Questions

Before any interview, you want to research the job and the company. Ask questions to gather information. Remember, both the employer and you are looking to see if your skills match the job. Some of the following could help you:

  • Interview requirements- will you need to take tests; are you expected to bring anything; how long might the interview be;
  • Benefits - what benefits, if any, are available; what benefits are offered to new hires; what are the policies regarding sick days or personal days
  • Working conditions - is there overtime, and if so, is it mandatory; what hours would you be working; what type of work is it; what is the safety record of the company; what is the overall atmosphere of the workplace
  • Problems and issues - how high is the turnover; is there overseas competition; recent layoffs; average length of employment; wage increases and history

Finding these answers may seen difficult. These answers are needed to determine how well you may fit into the company and if they match your employment goals.

Researching the Job

Once you have your list of questions, it is time to research the job. There are several methods available which help determine if your skills and strengths match the employer. Here are four ways to get you started:

  • Online - most companies have a website; if not, check online for general industry information or job descriptions
  • Employees - talk to someone who is with the company about the job and the workplace; another option is to talk to people who are in a similar position or company
  • Observation - visit the workplace if possible. Check with the library or local employment office to find resource information about the job
  • Management - looking at the management of a company will tell you about the stability of the company or the overall environment.

Looking at how you will be fitting into the job will help keep potential problems and surprises to a minimum. Possible issues such as large amounts of overtime, limited advancement potential, or management and employee relations may not be discovered until after you are hired.

Matching Skills to the Job

One of the main issues employers have with applicants is their lack of skill and ability to match the job requirements. This occurs because job seekers don't take the time to consider how their skills fit into the company or know the requirements of the job. There are two ways around this.

  • Know your skills - matching your skills and strengths with the job is your biggest selling point during an interview. Know what you can reasonably do, handle, and accomplish and show as assets to the employer at the interview
  • Know the job requirements - read the job description if one is provided; if not be sure to research the job.

Having the proper skills and strengths for the job will help you fit into the company. The employer will be looking for this fact during the interview. Without proper job research you will not be able to effectively provide the answer to the employer's problem, which is to find someone who can fit into the company by matching the job with their skills and strengths.