Author: Mike Scaletti
When you're looking for work, it's easy to end up blending in and looking like every other applicant, even when you are qualified for the role you are applying for. The bottom line is that for every position that gets posted, hiring managers and recruiters receive dozens of applicants, and sometimes a lot more than that.
While ensuring that you have wonderful references, a professional cover letter, and a well laid out resume showing your relevant experience is a great start, you won't be the only candidate to have those things. The next step in your job search process should be figuring out a way to stand out from the crowd.
A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE
A website designed to show off your portfolio or professional skills can be a great asset for your job search, especially if you in a creative or product-oriented field such as graphic design, illustration, web development, or UI/UX. That said, it can be useful for anyone, regardless of field.
Being able to point to your portfolio online is a great way to showcase your talents and accomplishments in an interactive way that can be far more in depth than what you can cover in a resume. Plus it helps to create a personal brand that will stick in recruiters' minds when they are considering their next hire.
BE THOROUGH IN YOUR RESEARCH
This is not an uncommon piece of advice when applying for work: research the company you are applying to. Visit their website. Check out their social media. Try to identify their values and goals as a company. Then take that information and incorporate it into your cover letter and resume.
It's likely that a lot of the roles you will be applying for are going to be fairly similar, so it is tempting to simply send the same resume to each company and to modify your cover letter only slightly for each. The bottom line, however, is that like every candidate, every company and every opportunity is unique. Use that uniqueness to make yourself stand out.
If you make it past the initial interview stage, take that research to the next step. Figure out what the company has recently been working on; projects, initiatives, and targets. That way you can position yourself as someone who will be able to immediately jump in and contribute in meaningful ways.
One of the aspects ubiquitous during the modern job search process are assessments. Companies want to know how qualified you are for the position, and whether you actually have the skills and experience necessary to be successful at the job. This might take the form of preliminary assignments, making presentations, or taking tests on a platform like Indeed.
If you have been informed that an assessment is going to be performed, try to find out what form it will take, or at least what the target of the assessment will be, and then take it seriously! Study, brush up on your skills, and if possible take at least one practice test.
LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES
Show that you’re willing to grow and learn from your past experiences. While your resume and portfolio can show off that experience and assessments can evaluate your skills, it's on you to show how you have been shaped by your past roles, both the mistakes you've made and the triumphs you've achieved.
You will do this during the interview process. Think back on some of your memorable experiences. Turn those into anecdotes that you can easily share during an interview. Remember that the key thing here is displaying growth. Workplaces and what they require can change rapidly. By using anecdotes to display your adaptability, you show that no matter what the position may throw at you, you will be ready for it.
Applying to jobs can be extremely competitive, and while the "great resignation" has made it more of a job seeker's market lately, you can still hugely benefit from incorporating these 4 pieces of advice.
Good luck out there, and don't forget that if you feel like you need help, The Job Shop is here to lend a hand