In our last post (They Must Have Called Ms. Cleo) we looked at two articles from several years ago that highlighted some of the issues that led to the economic mess that we find ourselves in today and now we will look at an overview of some very basic ways to stand out amongst the throngs of other job-seekers that the current conditions have caused.
1) Know what you want to do. In uncertain times it is very easy to get caught in the ‘I’ll do anything’ mindset. If you are looking for a survival job that is perfectly fine, but when you are speaking about your career you need to be more selective so that you can begin to brand yourself an expert in your area.
2) Know the lingo of your chosen field. Most things in today’s world are driven by keywords and recruitment is no different. Keywords are used to weed people out and weed people in during every phase of the search process and not knowing and using the correct terminology can leave you at a great disadvantage.
There is not much that is absolute truth in the search process but if you are not using the correct keywords on your résumé it will never be seen, if your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles lack the correct keywords they will never be searched, and if you are not able to use the correct keywords during networking meetings and interviews you are less likely to attract interest.
3) Show your value. We put together a posting a few weeks back (Which Car Are You?) in which we discussed the two types of job-seekers, those that show their value and those that don’t. I am not going to repeat the entire positing but will say that if you are presenting yourself as the car with four tires, four seats, and a steering wheel (i.e. you focus on job description items) you are in for a long, hard search.
4) Be selective with when, where, and how you apply. One of the most disturbing things I am seeing in today’s market is the job-seeker who applies to every job they come across multiple times, whether or not they are qualified. Nobody wants a desperate candidate (take a look at our post Looking For A Job Is Like Being In High School) and nothing says desperation like seeing the same candidate’s résumé for every single position that is posted.
If you want to stand out in a positive way make sure that you are applying to positions that you are a 100% fit for (thinking you are qualified and actually being qualified are two different things) and point out in a cover letter or email why you are a candidate of interest.
5) Brand yourself an expert. In an economic downturn organizations want a true expert to come in and make an impact on how they do business. To help sell yourself as such, you might consider starting a blog in an area of your expertise, make intelligent comments and suggestions on others blogs, and make it a point to answer questions on LinkedIn. There is no guarantee that any of those will land you a new opportunity but recruiters are starting to pay more attention to blogs and LI answers to find top-notch candidates.
When looking for a job it is all in the details and the areas highlighted above can help you improve your chances of getting noticed. Over the next few weeks we will look at the things discuss in this positing in-depth and will be discussing how to use them to your advantage.
Until then, good hunting and good luck!