Season 4 Episode 150: Taking the Focus Off You for Job Search Success with Lori Norris

On this episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, host Lori Norris shares the best ways to help candidates stand out from the crowd during the job search process. It may seem counterintuitive at first, but a candidate who can shift their focus from themself to the needs of an employer will rise above the applicant pool.


Whether it’s your resume, LinkedIn profile, a networking event, an interview or a job fair, you must have a strategy. A strategic marketing plan begins with knowing the customer. Find out what the customer wants – in the job search process, the customer is the employer. Learn to articulate what skills you have that will meet the employer’s needs.


Consider some of the most effective marketing slogans on social media and television. Nike’s slogan is “Just Do It” – yet at no point do they ever tell you outright to buy their shoes and clothing. The company makes it all about you – the consumer. Try applying this approach to your marketing and make it all about the employer. Avoid writing objective statements in your resume that tell the employer you need a job or using your LinkedIn headline as an opportunity to state you are a transitioning service member looking for employment.


Companies hire for one of two reasons: they have a need to fill or a problem to solve. Do your research and figure out what the organization’s needs and problems are and then craft your marketing to be the solution to their problem. Put more focus on putting together tailored, quality applications instead of sending out a large quantity of generic applications. Convey your ROI to the company. To define an employer’s needs and problems, first conduct a S.W.O.T. analysis. Learn their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and then target your marketing to the customer. Second, conduct research using a company’s website, google, and Use social media to learn about a company's current events.


Determine your unique skills and market the benefits that they will bring to the employer. Employers will believe what you can prove through stories, examples and statistics. To help get you thinking about how your skills can be the solution to an employer’s problems, try this exercise – Make a list of at least 25 of your skills. Next to each skill, make a statement of its value. In the third column, write an example or story that highlights the skill. This exercise will help you craft quality bullets for your resume and effective talking points for an interview.


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Are You Struggling to Write Your Resume?

I created the Veteran Resume Self-inspection Checklist to lessen the resume writing struggle for veterans. This 11-item checklist will educate you in resume best practices while giving veterans a guide to assess their resume and determine if it's ready to send to  employers. 

Download Your Checklist Here