For many job seekers, the hardest part about finding the perfect fit isn’t having enough experience or great recommendations. It’s standing out in a sea of fellow job hunters who claim they are just as good as the next guy.
So, how can you beat out the competition? One way is to provide employers with everything they are looking for without them asking for it first. Sounds like something people should already be doing though, right? However, many job seekers simply wait around for a phone call from a prospective employer before providing hard work evidence and experience.
It’s important to proactively prioritise your search before an employer even sees your resume. Here’s how:
Complete and maintain your online platforms. Although your work experience may be offline, your “background check” may happen through a simple Google search. With 90 per cent of search-firm recruiters using Google to get a more accurate picture of candidates, it’s more important than ever to keep a check on your online identity.
Start by completing your LinkedIn profile with additional information that complements your resume, yet stands on its own. Be sure to secure strict privacy settings on Facebook and tweet a few times a day. Your platforms should also have the same flow, such as a similar colour scheme or profile picture, in order to build a concrete brand.
Lastly, don’t forget to maintain these platforms with up-to-date information. There’s nothing worse than clicking a dead link or leading someone to a site that hasn’t been touched in months. Make it a priority to check in with your online profiles consistently so a hiring manger or recruiter can see your latest updates. Further, an easy way to piece all your platforms together is to sign up for Vizibility, the first SearchMe Button for Google, to prevent mistaken online identity and to bring your best search results to the forefront.
Provide work samples. How can you impress a hiring manger who has heard the same claims and seen the same resume templates about a million times? Give them something they are looking for before they ask for it, like a portfolio.
Provide every sort of work sample they could possibly ask for to make sure you stand out, like writing samples, project proposals, design work, etc. These portfolio items could be hosted on your LinkedIn account, or you could go one step further and make your own website. With each portfolio piece, give some sort of back-story or tell the reader how your work benefitted an organisation.
Additionally, ask your manager or boss at the time to give a short testimonial under the respective work sample. This gives your work an extra boost. Remember, it’s all about your accomplishments, and your portfolio can really relay this information if done correctly.
Give them every reason to hire you. When asked how to make it in show business, actor Steve Martin says, “Be so good, they can’t ignore you. People are going to come to you. It’s much easier doing it that way than going to cocktail parties.”
Martin is right, it is much easier making it as an actor this way. However, you can easily translate this theory into your job search. People are going to want to hire the best, or at least those that are perceived this way. Examples include:
- Giving concrete examples in your cover letter as to why you would be an asset to a team.
- Asking for testimonials on your LinkedIn page from powerful contacts.
- Networking with members of the organisation on Twitter to get your name out there.
- Providing quality content in the form of blogs to actually show you know what you’re talking about.
- Maintaining your personal brand and building your content on the path to thought leadership.
The trick here is to provide an employer with so much information about you, they can’t deny the talent you have, achieving the goal of standing out from your competition.
How else can you prioritise your job search?
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