Once upon a time, you probably received only a handful of emails per day, so you could read each one and quickly dispose of those you weren’t interested in. Then the deluge hit! Now you’re likely to miss something important because it’s buried in the flood of irrelevancy.
Something similar can happen with your job search. Your submissions for job opportunities can disappear in a sea of competing job seekers. Companies don’t have the time, resources, or inclination to pull a net through the mess and bring up your entry. To mix up the metaphor a bit more, you need to have your submission leap into the boat on its own.
What Makes a Stand-Out Job Search?
For one thing, your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile need to distinguish you from your competition as much as possible while not exaggerating the truth or twisting it out of recognition. If what you’re doing makes you look like just one more in the horde of job seekers clamoring for employer attention, you’re in trouble.
It’s not enough to be a “me, too” candidate. That approach almost guarantees that you’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of your competition. Trying to get noticed then depends on nearly astronomical odds tilting in your favor–I wouldn’t recommend counting on that.
So what might work? What might at least give you somewhat of an advantage over your competitors?
How to Stand Out in Your Job Search
I’ll say up front that probably none of this information is earthshakingly new. If I haven’t said it here before, undoubtedly a bunch of people have said it somewhere else. The question is: Were you paying enough attention the first time?
Stand-out techniques could include the following items:
1. Tell employers a compelling story in an irresistible manner. By tell your story, I mean give them one or more examples of the value you can bring to them in the targeted role. This requires fact-based information, not something you’ve created out of your imagination. Naturally, this presupposes you’ve researched the company extensively and have examined your experience and expertise to identify appropriate story situations you can use in your resume, in a cover letter, or in an interview.
2. Take a selective approach to your job search campaign. Avoid the temptation to do a blanket submission that covers most of the known job search universe. Customize your submissions for the top-tier job targets you’ve identified, so it’s clear you’re focusing on that employer and that job.
3. Take bold steps when the situation appears to warrant such action, even if it means stepping outside your comfort zone a bit. Just don’t confuse boldness with conceit or lack of consideration for others’ time and attention. You don’t need–or want–your job search to resemble a steamroller.
Desired Job Search Results
What you want from your stand-out job search is a new job, usually outside your current employer but sometimes within the organization. How do you achieve that?
Think for a moment about your current or most recent employer. Didn’t the company need to deliver good results to its customers in order to succeed?
By the same token, you need to convince employers that you can deliver desirable results to their company. Then you can both attain your goals–they get a high-performing employee and you get a great new job.