What if just one little word would help you stand out among job seekers? What if one word would help you better articulate your goals and interests to a recruiter and future employer? I argue that the word “why” is one of the most important concepts to focus on during your job search and interview process. I’m going to give you three “Whys” to contemplate that can be game-changers when it comes to your job search!
#1 WHY to consider: Why are you looking for a new job?
Perhaps you just graduated college and are looking for your first professional experience. Perhaps you got let go from your last role because the company shut its doors. Maybe you were furloughed due to COVID-19. Whatever the reason is that you are on the job search, it will be helpful to articulate that clearly to your recruiter, and to anyone helping you in your job search. Bear in mind that the more honest you are with those around you, the better the outcome will be. As my boss, Cody, likes to say “No one likes surprises”! So be up front with your reason for looking for a new job – no matter what it may be. The right opportunity will build on your past and open even greater doors to the future.
#2 WHY to consider: Why are you in the field or industry that you are in?
Did you choose accounting because your dad is a CPA? Did you go back to school to get into software engineering because you wanted to earn a better living?
Passion and interest in your field or industry will carry you a long way in the interview and job searching process. Keep in mind that if you aren’t passionate about the industry that you’re in, someone else is. With all things equal, who is an employer more likely to hire – the enthusiastic candidate, or the unenthusiastic one? All that to say, if you genuinely are not excited about your career, it’s never too late to make a change! I started off a career in Communications, before becoming a CPA, to finally landing on a career I’m most passionate in – Recruiting. I can tell you from experience that waking up every day to have a job I’m excited about was worth making several career changes. When it comes time to discuss your next opportunity, be sure to share your authentic excitement for whatever industry you work in – and don’t be afraid to make change to something new!
#3 WHY to consider...
This third “why” is more likely to be asked of you when you finally score an interview. It’s not uncommon for employers to ask, in one way or another, why you want to work for them. Be sure to consider why do you want this specific job? One of the more common mistakes candidates can make in interviews is not expressing why they want to work for that specific company and role. Being able to articulate this – with both genuine enthusiasm and solid facts – is going to help you stand out in an interview. Having done research on the company and role, as well as having authentic passion for your job field will be great ways to prepare for these types of questions in an interview. If an employer doesn’t directly ask why you want the job, don’t hesitate to boldly tell them up front why you are the right candidate and what it is about the job and company that excites you. Being able to help a future employer understand why you want the job will help you be a stand out candidate!
Job searching is a challenging process that can be a good time to do some consideration of why you’re on the job market, why you’re working in a specific industry, and why you want to work in a specific role. Having carefully thought out and well-articulated answers to these “whys” can help you stand out in the job market!
Sarah Huebner is a fitness enthusiast and former CPA accountant who recently made the transition into Recruiting with SHR Talent, and matches candidates to new opportunities in Nashville, TN. A graduate of University of Kentucky, she loves 90s music, cycling, hiking, and adventures of all kinds.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.