Hi Tanya, This is a super question.
Basically an employer wants to know that you are a good fit for their job and that you either have the specific skills or you have transferable experience(s) that they believe will make you successful. It is very valuable to put yourself in the potential employers shoes. What do I mean?
Look very carefully at each job description requirements and see how your experiences answer the employer's needs. Many times candidates don't pay attention to the actual details and get eliminated early. Employers are looking for actual skills and how well you articulate what you did. Many times you can get these skills at smaller companies because the reality is to get the job done you have to wear many hats. This is a great opportunity to learn and gain experience. The key is how you convey this on your resume/application and in the interview. You can also have great experiences at a big company: be sure to complete all your assignments and reassess with your supervisor(s) during and after each assignment. Again how you communicate the experience gained to a future employer is important. Location may or may not be important - it really depends on your industry and specific situation. As a potential employer, I would be more focused on your skill set unless there was a specific regional or local based skill that was needed for the job - like a language, knowledge of a specific city/culture, or experience at a specific company that has a unique product or service.
Here are some additional steps to help you develop job search and application skills.
Victoria recommends the following next steps:
- Look at each job request/description and write each key skill required on the left side of your table (use a word or excel table or a sheet of paper divided in half). Then compare this skill to your experience on the right side of your table. If you have a gap, that's okay, see if you have another skill that might be leveraged, a course you took, or a volunteer experience that might apply. Never make up experience or misrepresent experience.
- Pretend to interview yourself: what questions would a potential employer ask you about your experience? What did you learn at each job? How does your experience or skill set meet the needs of the employer? How does the potential job fit with your interests, talents, and skills? Then ask yourself: how will this job build my career? Imagine where you will be in one - three years if you get the job.
- Be sure to proofread anything you send to a potential employer. Remember spelling is a super power and represents you before you ever get that interview with a potential employer. Good luck, you will be great :)