In my last article you learned what employers want; now you need to figure out WHY they want you? The best way to do that is by conducting a Competitive Analysis (CA). CA is an essential component of corporate business strategy that is used to help businesses assess the strengths and weaknesses of competitors. This same idea can be used to assess job competitors.
The best tool you can use to conduct a CA is LinkedIn.com
--Go to the home page and click the Advanced button located near the top right hand corner of the page - before clicking make sure the People drop down icon is selected on the left.
--On the Advanced People Search page fill out the Location section and the Keywords area. For the Keywords area make sure to use the top 5 job description keywords you uncovered using the tips in my last job search post. After that, if you are in the United States fill in the Postal Code area and set Within to 50 mi (80km). If outside the US select your country and then click search.
--When you get the results you will likely find more people than want to research; if so add more keywords until you get about 50 to 100 people. You will notice many of the profiles lack details - don't worry - all you need is five well written profiles to review; so keep looking until you get those five.
--Finally, do a quick manual read and see what stands out and how each person is trying to differentiate themselves and then copy and paste all five profiles into Wordle.net/create to make a word cloud to compare with your job description keywords. As a reminder I recommend limiting the number of words to 25; to do this just click on "layout" and then click "maximum words" and set it to 25.
That's it! If you do these things not only will you understand your competitive job landscape, which is very useful for interviews and salary negotiations, but also know the areas where you need to improve to stay ahead of the curve. If you like this article please write a comment below. Also sign up for exclusive content by typing your information below the big blue arrow at the top of the page. - now Go Get Em'!
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