Stand Out in a Crowded Job Market: Get Noticed in 2015
Have you made the decision to change your job this year? You’re not alone, according to industry statistics, 37% of people plan to start a new role in 2015.
With so many people sharing the same goal to change roles this year, how can you stand out in a crowded job market?
Become a Brand
Like other job seekers, you may be searching for a new role whilst meeting the demands of your current position. Time is precious, therefore let the job find you. Creating a personal brand can help you to stand out to employers and recruiters can find you much easier, taking the strain out of your job search.
Whether you intend to or not, your social media accounts acts as a digital representation of you – showcasing your skills, experiences and hobbies to prospective employers.
Make sure your online brand is up to scratch by auditing it before you start your job search. If there’s anything you wouldn’t want your interviewer to see, remove it. If you want to keep your Facebook personal, make sure all of your privacy settings are set to “friends only” and be careful of what you post to public brand pages.
Ignoring your LinkedIn account is easy when you’re not looking for a job, so you may need a complete LinkedIn overhaul to make it stand out.
1. Start by creating a custom URL for your profile. Everyone can do this, all you need to do is edit your profile and click “edit” next to the Public Profile URL that sits underneath your photograph.
2. Choose a clear, engaging and professional photograph. Don’t use photographs that crop half of other people’s heads, are pixelated or too small to make out. Tip: head and shoulder shots work best.
3. Write a headline that includes the keywords that will get you noticed by recruiters. Don't be attempted to use jargon, referring to yourself as a “wizard”, “ninja” or “guru” will get you noticed for the wrong reasons.
4. Ideally your summary will be 3 or 4 paragraphs long, including bullet points of your main skills, achievements and passions. Keep this in first person, remember it’s your profile so you shouldn’t refer to yourself in the third person.
5. Showcase impressive stats. Helped your company increase revenue by 50%? Then put it on your profile. It’s these stats that help you stand out from other candidates.
6. Add media to your profile. LinkedIn allows you to add photos, videos, presentations and links. Been featured in the news for a personal achievement? Consider adding it to your profile.
7. Complete your profile. LinkedIn informs you of how complete your profile is, so you really shouldn’t miss anything. Provide your full work experience, projects, languages and volunteer experiences. A completed profile with the relevant keywords will make you easier to find in search results.
8. Build credibility through recommendations. Don’t be shy about asking connections for a recommendation, they are unique to you and can impress recruiters looking at your profile.
9. Post a status daily to your news feed and to groups. But be careful not to spam. Sign up for Google Alerts or subscribe to relevant blogs and select one piece of content to share each day.
10. Be accessible. Add your email address so that recruiters can contact you. If you’re on Twitter or write a blog – you should include links to these on your LinkedIn profile.
Whilst LinkedIn is the first social media network that springs to mind for job searching, Twitter can be extremely handy to raise your personal profile in a cluttered job market.
In its simplest form, Twitter is a real time social media network in which members post content within 140 characters. The beauty of Twitter is that it’s fast paced open network, allowing you to network with industry peers and demonstrate thought leadership through promoting content to an international audience.
Here are the key points to using Twitter to stand out in your job search:
1. The basics. Use a good photograph and use relevant keywords in your bio to allow others to find you easily.
2. Follow. To acquire followers, you’re going to need to follow people to begin with. Be selective to who you follow. You’ll start to see content appear on your news feed that you can share with others by “ReTweeting”. Grow your network to be seen as an influencer.
3. Post content. Don’t just be a soap box for other Twitter users – post your own content. Post links to interesting articles.
4. Have a personality. Sure, you’re looking for a job and may feel you need to be 100% professional – however Twitter is much more relaxed than LinkedIn so you can afford to showcase as much as your personality that you’re comfortable with. However be cautious – posting sensational or antagonistic content can be taken in the wrong way.
5. Simplify. Use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to make managing your social media profiles easier. Both of these social media management tools allow you to create columns to funnel content. For example, you could set up different columns for specific lists you’ve created, hashtags or specific users to isolate the interesting content from the noise.
Many job seekers are setting up professional blogs to stand out from the crowd and to highlight their knowledge to potential employers.
Sites such as Wordpress and Blogger provide straight forward blogging platforms to get you started. Here’s a quick summary of what you should consider when starting a blog:
1. Don’t try to be all things to all people – select a niche. That way you can really showcase your expertise in a specific area.
2. Consider your tone of voice, you should aim to hit the right balance between conversational and informative.
3. Update your blog regularly. The internet is awash with failed blogs. Don’t allow yours to suffer a similar fate, try and update your blog at least once a week.
4. Promote your content across your social media accounts and reach out to others for their support.
5. Monitor your analytics. How many people are visiting your blog? What are they looking at? How long are they spending on your site?
Attend Networking Events
Get your name out there by attending local and industry related events and seminars to meet other professionals who may be able to advise and steer you with your job search. Many jobs openings are never advertised and are filled through word of mouth recommendations; therefore do not underestimate the value of face to face networking.
Don't Forget The Basics
Focus your job search; don’t apply to everything you encounter. Make your application stand out to recruiters by tailoring your CV for the job that you are applying for.
Ensure your CV is well presented, structured and free of errors.
Remain polite, professional and considerate throughout.
Write a cover letter that demonstrates your skills and your capabilities to do the job you have applied for.
Dress professionally. Remember that first impressions are lasting impressions, so match the dress code of the company when you attend an interview. If you’re unsure of what to wear, simply ask your contact for the interview.
Stand out from those with similar skills and experience with interesting hobbies and interests.