Real Ways to Stand Out as a Job Seeker
Positioning yourself among all the other candidates applying for a job can be challenging, but if you put in the work, you can give yourself an edge. Remember that doing the bare minimum of what is required to apply for a job is not going to help you land a job; simply clicking the ‘Apply’ button on 100 job postings in a week is not the same as doing the research necessary to know if the company is really right for you. Companies want to hire the best possible candidate and that means someone who is willing to go the extra mile to positively impact the company, and it all starts with the application and interview process. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to help job seekers land their dream job, there are some things you should consider doing to not only get noticed but to really stand out during a job search.
1 | #Winning
Job seekers who consistently market themselves as an asset by showing their dedication to their industry are more likely to land jobs. Employers like job seekers who put in the extra effort to make a contribution to the industry and how you can help positively make an impact within their organization. Some of the things you can do to help prove your dedication to your industry include:
- Creating a winning online portfolio that showcases samples of your work for the particular industry you are applying to
- Regularly posting thought leadership pieces to your own blog to create an online presence
- Sprucing up your LinkedIn profile, adding in key phrases, skills and accomplishments as well as sharing your blog posts here and updating your profile picture to a professional and authentic headshot
- Reaching out for recommendations on LinkedIn
2 | Back to the Future
Employers are constantly looking to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace and this means searching for job candidates who are trendsetters in their industry. During a job search, seek out advice from colleagues, mentors, and professionals regarding their opinions on the future of your industry. Their insight can greatly help you figure out what skills and experience you’ll need to follow those trends. And once you understand what the future of your industry looks like, you’ll be better at predicting future trends, which is an appealing quality to employers.
3 | Skilled and Reskilled
Whether you are applying for a different position within your industry, or a job outside of your industry, you need to know how to apply your current skill set to new roles. Candidates who understand this are highly sought after by employers because it shows you can transition between different roles, making the onboarding and training process easier, and that you will contribute more to the organization. It can also help you down the road by making you a prime candidate for promotions within the organization!
4 | Feedback Loop
Seek out feedback from colleagues, mentors, and other professionals and use it to improve your professional image. Have them proofread your cover letter and resume and make suggested edits. Have them look through your portfolio, website, blog, and LinkedIn profile for additional advice on improvement. And of course, do mock interviews and ask for their feedback. Both positive and negative feedback on all of these aspects of job seeking are critical to your own professional development.
5 | Target Practice
One of the most important things you can do is research the company. Know the company’s products or services, the industry and other relevant details – this shows you’re investing time in knowing something about your prospective employer. Understanding the company culture is especially critical; employees who fit in with the company culture not only get more personal fulfillment from their job but they are also more productive and creative!
Read through the company’s mission statement and values. Check out online sources to see what current and former employees are saying about working there. And you can also use our assessment at Workzinga to understand more about your preferences for workplace culture. Not only will it help you understand if you are a good fit for the company, but it can help you market yourself better to that company, essentially helping you hit the bullseye when sending in your application.