Job seeking can be tough, but finding ways to help you stand out as a desirable candidate can help boost your chances of success. From refreshing your skills to showing your values in action, here are five suggestions that could be just what you need to land your next role.
Refresh your skills
Keeping your skills current today is essential. Employers commonly provide training and skills development opportunities. Many industries also require evidence of maintaining skills and knowledge through ongoing professional development. If you participate in programs like these, be strategic about developing a valuable skill set where you can.
Seeking additional ways to refresh your skills could also be advantageous when looking to change roles. It might be pursuing a micro-credential. Or perhaps you can grow your practical skills and experience through a volunteer or shadow role. Do some research on the skills that can help you secure your dream job and focus on development opportunities that can take you there.
Growing and maintaining a strong network is another way to help you stand out in a competitive job market. Don’t be afraid to ask people in your network for suggestions or introductions when you’re looking for a new role. You might also find your network a valuable source of information about potential employers.
While there are many offline ways to connect, social media is an easy way to build connections. One advantage of social media is that you can follow companies you are interested in working for, get to know them and perhaps even raise your profile with them. You may find you have mutual connections who could introduce you. It’s nice to have a pre-existing connection when it comes to applying for roles and being familiar with the organisation’s work can help you stand out.
Talk to a recruiter
There are two ways that talking to a recruiter can help you in your job search. First, recruiters know the current job market and can give you insights on what employers are looking for and the opportunities that are available. It can give you a fresh perspective on your job search and help you focus your efforts. Even if the recruiter doesn’t have a suitable role right now, you’re on their radar for the future and they can point you in the right direction.
The second way talking to a recruiter can help you stand out is when you’re applying for a role. Be proactive and speak to the recruiter before submitting your application. This is an opportunity to ask any questions, but also to flag your interest in the role and how you meet the key requirements in the job advertisement. If you don’t have a copy of the job description, you might like to ask for one. If you do apply, your name is more likely to stand out in the list of candidates if you’ve made a good first impression over the phone.
Show your value
In a competitive job market, communicating the value you offer is key. You need to present a compelling proposition at every stage of the recruitment process. Initially, this means refining your resume to highlight your most valuable skills and experience. It also means tailoring your cover letter to respond to the requirements of the role.
At the interview stage, come prepared to show your value. Be ready to take your interviewers through examples that demonstrate your skills and experience in action. If you can, link these examples to what you could deliver for the employer. Highlight your achievements and the outcomes you have delivered. Always finish your interview with a strong and succinct statement of why you are the best candidate for the role and how you would be a valuable addition to the organisation.
If you have the chance to volunteer, this can also help you to stand out as a strong candidate. Values are often part of the attributes being assessed during recruitment so showing your values in action is one way to set yourself apart. It could be supporting a charity, participating in an event or using your skills in a volunteer role. Especially where this activity is relevant to a role, highlight it during the recruitment process.
In addition to showing your values, skilled volunteering can allow you to build new skills and experience. In turn, this can help you stand out compared to similar candidates without skilled volunteering experience. This can be particularly valuable when you are looking to make the leap to senior and executive positions. Whether seeking an internal promotion or a new opportunity altogether, giving back can pay dividends for your career.
If you’re currently seeking a new opportunity, I hope you have found these insights valuable. You can view our current positions page to see roles we are recruiting and set up a tailored job alert to hear about new vacancies that match your career interests.