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How to Stand Out from the Competition When Searching for a Job

From the first contact you make with a prospective employer until you get an offer letter, every interaction matters. You don’t want to get lost in the crowd of applicants and fail to make that all-important shortlist used to make a final hiring decision.

Of course, you need to present the right combination of education, experience, and skills, but now is also the time to let your unique personal brand shine.

Here are some ideas for making this happen:

Customize your resume and cover letter.

This is Step One in your application process. It’s the right resume and cover letter that gets your foot in the door.

  • Customize these documents for each job. Each time you apply, tailor your resume and cover letter by peppering them with keywords from the job description and other content that emphasizes what an employer is looking for. Remove anything irrelevant.
  • The same rule of thumb holds true for any correspondence or communication with an employer. Among the valuable resources for these skills is Purdue University’s online writing lab.
  • Perfect your social media presence.

    Employers commonly search candidates online, so make sure your social media presence is flawless in their eyes.

  • Develop your professional online profiles. This includes things like a professional headshot and a fully updated work history, as well as a focus on your latest certifications, achievements, and professional association activity. And share relevant content.
  • Be mindful of every single thing you post on the internet. There’s no taking any of it back. And, prospective employers will see it, even that wild vacay photo on your personal Facebook page.
  • Be well prepared for your interview.

    It only takes a few seconds to make an indelible first impression. So prepare for your interview ahead of time, everything from what to wear to what to say and the questions you will ask.

  • Your goal is to sound knowledgeable and competent and appear professional yet relaxed. Be ready to cite specific examples of your accomplishments and talk about relevant issues and goals that are most important to you.
  • Stay up to date on current industry and market trends. This makes for a good, natural flow of conversation. Plus, as you read up on this information, you may be able to see where you need to update your current skills or knowledge.
  • Pay attention to your appearance. Look the part. A good general rule of thumb is to become familiar with the typical dress code for a position and kick it up just a notch for your interview. So, if the accepted standard is business casual, consider adding a blazer or tie to your interview outfit. Don’t overdo it if you’re interviewing for a factory or warehouse job but set the right biz casual tone. Dress for the job you want, not the one you already have.
  • Job searching can be intimidating, even for the most extroverted among us. To ease your anxiety level and ensure you’re ready for whatever a hiring process tosses your way, partner with the experienced career coaches at PrideStaff Fresno. Contact us today to learn more.

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