Everyday we hear about more layoffs. You will want to be proactive by starting a job search before it happens. That is a smart move but you must be careful. If your current boss gets wind of it you might be the first to be laid off. Of course if you have already successfully lined up a job, it won’t matter much!
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There are going to be lots of people looking for jobs now. How do you distinguish yourself from the others? This is a really important question. The good news is that you can save months of job searching by simply using one or two of these ideas.
When there are lots of people looking for work how do you get noticed? You must stand out from the crowd. How do you do that? Having a unique skill is one way. You’ll need to highlight it on your resume. At an interview you will want to back it up with success stories about how the skill has solved a problems for your past employers.
Another way to be memorable is to tell a compelling story. I recall years ago hearing that someone always told the story of how he was on a plane that was high jacked. People always referred to him as “the fellow who was high jacked”. He stood out!
Another way to stand out is to take a risk. We are usually encouraged to follow all the rules when applying for a job. Don’t rock the boat so to speak. Following all those rules makes us all alike!
I loved the story I heard recently at an event where Shirley Singleton co-founder of Edgewater Technology was the keynote speaker. In the early 80s after being laid off as a teacher she signed up for and completed a computer programming class.
After sending out hundreds of resumes with no response she answered a help wanted ad in the newspaper only to learn they had already filled the job. In desperation she begged them to just interview her even though she knew they had no opening for her. She just wanted to know what it was like to be interviewed! They agreed to help her.
When she returned home from the “interview” there was a message on her answering machine saying they were creating a job for her! Out of frustration she had taken a risk and as a result she was hired.
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Lots of times clients tell me they are perfect for a particular job and can’t understand why they were not hired.
One job candidate who was really upset when she was turned down for a job sent a gift of candy to that hiring manager telling her how much she had enjoyed meeting with the team. Several months later the hiring manager called her about another job. The gift had made an impression that lasted.
It is important never to burn any bridges and to stay connected to those you meet even the ones who turn you down. You never know who will eventually help you find that perfect job!
So whether you are already laid off or just think you might be, now is the time to think about how you will make yourself memorable to those you meet, what kind of risk you are willing to take to get a great job, and how you can stay connected to those who have the potential to help you in the future. Now is the time to make sure you stand out!
How To Stand Out From the Competition in Your Job Search
1. What kinds of attributes do you have that make you memorable? Is it a skill, a talent, a hobby, an experience? How does it fit into your career goals?
2. What risk would you be willing to take to get yourself noticed? What is the upside? What is the downside? How do you make the decision to follow through?
3. Who have you met recently that has the necessary connections to help you with your job search? How do you stay connected with him/her?
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Career Tips and Job Search Guides: Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor for Attorneys and a Career Coach as well as publisher of Parker’s Points, an email tip list and Road to Success, an ezine with career and business information. Subscribe now to these free monthly publications at her website.