BEST WAYS TO STAND OUT FROM OTHER JOB SEEKERS
Updated: Jan 20
It’s natural to think about your competition when you are looking for a job. However, everyone has unique talents and highlighting these in an intentional way and strategizing how to apply is important.
Obviously, a job opening exists because someone is needed to carry out a task (providing services, producing products, etc.). Therefore, remember to emphasize your value to the employer rather than simply showing your job history.
Research the Employer – Before you apply to a ton of job listings that sound interesting, do your homework. Consider who they are and what makes them unique? Review their mission, goals, customer/client reviews, products, and services. What are the current trends in their industry or sector?
Tailor Your Resume to the Job – Read every line of the posting carefully. Some job descriptions are more detailed than others. If you have related experience, highlight this. If you don't, think about what you have done in previous roles that could be transferred to that sector.
Provide Examples of Your Achievements – When you can, emphasize the results of your actions used to solve a problem. For instance, how did you help the company, your boss, or your department? Was there an increase in sales or lower turnover due to what you created or changed? Quantify results whenever possible by using percentages and dollar amounts.
Highlight Your Soft Skills – The ability to collaborate with a team, work independently and communicate well (written & verbally) are highly sought-after skills. Interpersonal skills also rank high. Even if they are not explicitly mentioned, they are essential. For example, if you collaborated with another department or person, this shows your communication and people skills.
Show a Willingness to Learn – Have you taken courses to improve your knowledge in a specific area? Have you attended conferences or participated in ongoing training either on your own or as part of your job? Have you obtained certifications to gain more skills?
Establish Your Presence on LinkedIn – This platform is more than a typical 'social media' site. It can allow you to highlight your accomplishments in both a narrative and visual format. For example, did you know you can include multimedia (video, presentations, etc.)?
Find Someone at the Company – If you have a LinkedIn profile, try to connect with a person at the organization in which you are interested. Perhaps it is a connection of a connection. Make the extra effort to get referred to the hiring manager. That could help put your resume in front of the person deciding who to bring in for an interview.
Write a Cover Letter to Show Enthusiasm – Whenever you can attach an additional document, always submit a cover letter that is 100% directed to the job. In most cases, you will be among the few who make this effort when it is listed as 'optional.' This will allow you to 'talk' to the hiring manager and express your knowledge of the organization and describe how you can help them meet their needs.
Show confidence in your abilities. This will not make you appear arrogant if you have examples to support what you are saying. It takes time to tailor applications, but this extra effort can be more effective than sending the same employment history list to everyone. That is essentially what you will have done if you don't align your experience with the employer's needs.
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