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February 2008
Impressing Potential Employers

by Susan Reynolds

It’s not about you, it’s about them. Job searchers often design their resumes and other communications, such as cover letters, to tell their readers just exactly what they want. They state objectives such as “to join a growing, thriving company”… to “utilize my skills and abilities”. These are admirable and logical goals, but how often would a hiring decision-maker read those very same lines on the several hundred resumes that might be sitting on their desk, waiting to be screened? (Kind of lays out the odds, doesn’t it?) I know that I have repeatedly written to you about insightfully assessing your goals and aspirations. Don’t stop with that! Your job search message must make the leap from YOUR goals to your potential employers’ NEEDS.

Very few organizations are interested in funding any position that does not either make money or save money. This is probably true from the most entry-level administrative position, to the absolute top of the organizational chart. Every single job description most likely lays out a role to play in the overall profitability, or in the case of a non-profit, funding of the organization. Even if your roles are on the service-provision side of the organization, can you do it efficiently? Can you provide the services of your job in the most cost savings manner? Can you contribute effectively to the bottom line?

So how should you present your potential contributions to a prospective employer? By making your message abundantly clear in enumerating the contributions and positive impact you’ll be able to bring to the table. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them.

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

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