The most effective start to your process of standing out from the crowd requires a pragmatic approach that illustrates that you have given thought, as well as brought insight, to any job interview. Firstly, it is important to uncover and comprehend the trends in your desired career field. Gather detailed information about the companies you would like to work for. Using market research is essential to your success:
- Read reviews and articles about the industry – demonstrate your passion and knowledge. Few people bother doing this.
- Interview people in the industry – information, networking and potential leads are not only helpful, but also increase awareness of you to a relevant and influential crowd.
- It’s absolutely essential to your job-hunting success to know how to research potential employers. Not only will this information help you in writing your cover letter (and perhaps tailoring your resume), but it is mandatory for when you get invited for a job interview.
Always remember that you are the product that you’re trying to sell. Like in industry, the products with the most compelling messages will win out in the marketplace.
So you need to examine what characteristics, features and skills make you unique in order to stand out among competing job searchers. Remember to examine this from eyes of potential employers. These features can include things like work experience, leadership experience, professional memberships, and, of course, your education and training. However you must write and express these skills in a compelling and meaningful way using key differentiating attributes.
Differentiating Attributes about You
- What makes you, you?
- What are your key differentiating attributes? Consider elements such as drive, enthusiasm, training, passion, prior experience, specific skills, industry knowledge, a customer, computer skills, creativity.
- Focus on matching YOUR differentiating characteristics with WHAT the COMPANY or ROLE needs. You must manage the fit during the ‘job hunt’ process.
There is an advertising term called the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What is the one thing that makes you different than any other job-seeker applying for the same job?
- What are your accomplishments (not duties or job titles)?
- How attractive a ‘product’ are you? Why?
- What will make you more attractive to employers?
No matter how attractive a product you are, employers may not recognise and value you unless you have properly positioned yourself on the job market.
Positioning involves developing a perception in the eyes of employers and is a three-step process:
- Identify a set of possible competitive advantages upon which to build a position. What are your competitive advantages for potential employers?
- Select the right competitive advantages. Different employers seek different strengths and skills.
- Effectively communicate and deliver the chosen position to the market. How can you develop a successful communications message?
From this day forth…
- Create a Word document to keep track of your achievements.
- Every time you accomplish something, jot down an entry.
- Include what you did and why it was important.
- When possible, show how that achievement helped any company you previously worked for.
- Ask others what they think are your key defining attributes – you might be surprised.
Harness all these things and develop strong ‘story’ and the ‘compelling messages’ that help you Stand Out From The Crowd.