There’s no shortage of information about how difficult the job market is right now. Over and over, job seekers look for ways to “stand out,” to be one in a crowd, to grab (and keep) the attention of the hiring manager.
You might be surprised to know that it may not be as difficult as you think to stand out in a crowded market. Some ideas for your consideration:
– Know what you have to offer. You would be surprised (or maybe not!) to learn how few job seekers I meet can easily describe what skills they bring to the table. Being able to succinctly describe those skills in a networking setting – without resorting to the catch all/kiss of death, “I can do anything” will absolutely help you stand out. Follow THIS link for more ideas about your “elevator pitch.”
– Know where to look. I teach clients to identify organizations and companies, not specific jobs. The fact is, most jobs are not actually advertised. (It may be as many as 70-80% of positions.) Rather, they are filled via networking and referrals. Stop spending all of your time looking for jobs. Research and target organizations instead and you will automatically stand out as someone not overly concerned with focusing on a specific job and more interested in the big picture.
– Great materials. This is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, most resumes are simply not very good. There are basic concerns – aesthetics, grammar, verb tense, consistency. These are not difficult to address. The bigger concern is making sure the resume specifically focuses on the employer’s needs and highlights the job seeker’s skills and accomplishments. If you are sending out a resume that lists “stuff” that you have done but is not adequately connecting to the employer’s needs, you are missing a key opportunity to stand out in the crowd.
– Excellent follow-up. Again, a factor that is completely in the job seeker’s control. When you network, you have the opportunity to leave an impression and gain an advocate. However, everyone is busy. How you follow up can help you stand out in a way that may make the difference between learning about a “hidden” opportunity and not.
Stay tuned for my next post….Follow-up that is head and shoulders above the rest!
photo by picsbycam