Opinion

6 awesome ways to stand out as a job seeker

It’s the New Year and this week saw ‘Massive Monday’ – the day huge numbers of people start looking for new employment.

And although the job market is on the up, there is still plenty of competition for vacancies. With lots of other talented people applying for the job of your dreams, you need to make sure that you stand out by doing things a little differently.

Apart from hitting the streets wearing a sandwich board announcing that you’re looking for work, what other innovative tactics can get you noticed?

Think about the resources you already have access to and how you can use them to promote your professional experience and raise your profile. With frequent use of social media and using creative writing skills, you can put other job seekers in the shade.

Feeling inspired and ready to get going? Fabulous. Let’s get started on your job hunt preparation!

1.    Get to know influencers

They say that word of mouth is the best form of advertising. This can apply to you too. So attend networking events in your town and get to know people who have more experience than you. Not only could they tell you about forthcoming job vacancies before they are advertised (giving you valuable time to prepare), but they could help raise your profile at their own organisation, helping you get one step ahead of other job applicants if a role pops up there.

2.    Tweet key influencers

If you usually avoid social media, it’s time to beat those doubts and embrace Twitter! It’s become a powerful channel of communication with 284 million monthly active users sending 500 million Tweets each day. It’s an excellent way of engaging with people directly, enabling you to establish new relationships.

Connect with an employer by making positive Tweets about stories that you see in the press or on the company website. For instance, if they’ve announced a new contract, congratulate them. Or if you’re signing up with agencies, why not Tweet a recruitment consultant introducing yourself and your key skills?

Be consistent and keen but avoid overwhelming people with messages! Check your account throughout the day – during breaks and on your journey to and from work.

3.    Be confident and be yourself

Showing self-confidence is an appealing trait to employers. It indicates ambition and a ‘can-do’ personality. To build your self-assurance, try listing your strongest skills and look at how they could benefit your ideal employer. By the time you actually meet recruiters, you are fully prepared to deliver killer responses to typical interview questions. 

4.    Polish up your e-reputation

It’s easy to forget that what goes online, stays online. So, if a future employer decides to Google you, they could find personal images and comments. Especially if your Facebook account isn’t locked down using the privacy settings. Do regular Google searches on yourself, delete images that don’t show you in the best light and make sure you see any photos that friends or colleagues take before they go online.

Tip: When Googling, use a different browser to your usual one. Your search results may be influenced by previous searches, and may not reflect the results seen by other people.

5.    Write an inspired LinkedIn summary

If you browse LinkedIn profiles you’ll see that some personal summaries tend to be a little predictable. When you update your summary, do something different to grab people’s attention.

How about starting with a story of a recent achievement such as an award-win or completion of a big project? Or perhaps mention the highlight of your career so far and why you’re proud of that moment? Giving recruiters and employers something engaging will make you stand apart from other applicants straightaway.

6.    Update your job hunt wardrobe

First impressions are essential, especially when employers need to meet a lot of candidates during the interview process. Put some money aside to invest in new job hunt clothing. Not only is this a brilliant excuse to go shopping (!), but by updating your wardrobe you’ll show people that you’re taking the process seriously. A refreshed, slick look will give you a boost, bringing out the best in you.

This is just the tip of the job-search iceberg! By taking time to think about ways you can make a sparkling impression this year, you’ll leap ahead of the competition. Good luck and get ready to shine!