In today’s job market it is becoming more important to brand yourself and stand out from the crowd. Gaining attention amongst multiple applicants requires the right skills, but it also requires substance. You need to create connections, build your personal brand, target your search, and prepare for interviews. All of these suggestions will help you stand out and land that job offer you’re looking for.
Create Connections to Increase Your Odds
Right from the start, the odds are stacked against you. Especially if you are applying to a job that has been advertised to the public; there could be hundreds of applications, which means the odds of someone taking their time while looking at your application gets lower.
How can you create connections? If you know anyone at the place where you’re applying, ask them to put in a good word for you. A personal connection is powerful because it can act as a reference. If you don’t know anyone who works where you’re applying, research the company on LinkedIn and check for 2nd or 3rd degree connections. If you know someone who knows someone at the company, ask them to get you in touch with the person who can connect you with the company. At the very least, this shows that you’re very interested in the position and the company. You should also tell everyone you know that you’re seeking a job and looking into a certain company. People in your circle may be able to get you connected with someone who works at or knows the company. Be resourceful and persistent!
The Power of Your Personal Brand
You’ve probably found yourself wanting to work for a company that has an amazing image/perception online. They have crafted this image through branding themselves, and it is this same principal that applies to you. Imagine a recruiter or hiring manager reviewing your branded resume and then finding that your brand extends online. Blog posts that connect you to larger ideas, a website to showcase your portfolio and accomplishments, social media channels that are expertly crafted and aren’t littered with party pictures. These are just a few ideas, you can get as creative as you’d like! Build a reputation as someone who has the best performance, skills and personality for the job that you want. Create a buzz about your successes.
Target Your Search
Even when you’re desperate for a job, you don’t want to apply to every job you can find. You need to tailor your resume for each job that you apply to, and this will take some time. Read over the job description and highlight areas on your resume that match qualities the job requires. This will help you get past any initial screenings done by computers. If the company is inundated with resumes, they will likely use the help of a computer program to screen for certain keywords and will only review resumes that have enough keywords to be considered relevant. Highlighting the right skills and using keywords will help get your resume on the table, but you need to apply more of these suggestions to stand out among all the other resumes that make it through keyword screening.
When you finally land that elusive interview, make sure you’re prepared. Bring copies of your resume with you, bring your portfolio and potentially some pieces of work that you can leave behind, have your references ready, dress professionally, and stay confident! (We’ve covered interview tips and dressing for success in previous blog posts, and we’ll most certainly cover them again in more detail.) Ask yourself this, “What will the interviewer remember about me?” If you answer with an item of clothing, a joke, or being late, none of those are good answers. You want to dress professionally, but avoid using bold outfit choices to stand out, you want your personality and past performance to be the star in the interview. Research the company and the interviewer(s) ahead of time and take some notes. Understanding who the company and interviewer(s) are will give you a leg up on your competition, and it will prepare you to ask intelligent questions about your potential role. After the interview, send a handwritten thank you note to the interviewer(s). This is a personal touch and not many people follow through with the idea. You’ll want to send a Thank You note in the mail the next day to ensure it is received before too much time passes.
Overall, you are only one in a million resumes for many job opportunities. It’s not fair because you are amazing and you deserve recognition! Using these four suggestions, you will be well on your way to standing out as the star that you are. If you’re looking for a job and you need our help, call a Peoplesource recruiter today and get noticed!
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