I know it can sound counter-intuitive, but many job seekers find that when they limit the scope of their skills, they are able to substantially increase the number of employers interested in them. The quality of jobs being offered also suddenly skyrockets.
When an employer is looking to fill an opening, it's usually because the company has a clear need. They're not looking for someone who can do everything, they're looking for someone who does this specific thing really well. They're also looking for someone who is committed to doing this specific thing for the long term. You might happen to have a rare blend of excellent accounting, sales, and logistics skills, but you're so much less likely to find someone who wants to utilize all of those talents of yours.
As a job seeker who is lucky to get 15 seconds of employer attention to your resume, you need to quickly convey exactly what it is you're offering and how you bring value to a company. It's simply not reasonable to expect a busy employer going through a hundred resumes to edit your resume for you. Not only can your job-specific skills get lost in the shuffle, you're also opening yourself up to immediate dismissal because it's not immediately clear that you would be really, really happy to get a job managing the warehouse. Instead, the employer is apt to wonder if you happen to be a good warehouse manager with a passion for sales, and therefore the type of warehouse manager who would drop everything for the perfect sales job when it comes along.
But narrowing your skillset isn't just a question of choosing an area of work or a job title - it goes beyond that. If you have a specialized area of expertise - say, insurance accounting - that makes you a much more competitive candidate for insurance accounting jobs. You might be able to get a job in another area of accounting, but it's the insurance companies who are most likely to pay top dollar and actively pursue you as a candidate.
If you don't have an area of expertise, consider defining one for yourself. This can help you increase your earning potential and attractiveness in the job market, and it can also help you get re-energized for your career. If you're an HR person and you can develop a depth of knowledge regarding employment law, you can pitch yourself as an employment law expert. Are there less employment law jobs than general HR jobs? Sure, of course. But there are also less people who are highly qualified for those jobs.
I'm a certified career coach based in Philadelphia. I started my own practice to help people land their dream jobs and achieve their individual definitions of success.
I also keep this blog with my musings on changes in the employment landscape, advice for job seekers, links to other career-related articles, and anything else that catches my interest.