It’s a competitive landscape out there for job seekers, but opportunities are more than plentiful – if you have the right strategy, that is. Here are some tips from real business legends about how to stand out in a broad field of applicants and get that dream job you’ve always wanted.
Specify, Target, and Focus
The job market rewards specialists in the 21st century, so pick your spots and act accordingly. This goes for networking, applications, personal branding, and the rest.
“Don’t fall into the cycle of aimlessly browsing job boards because you’ll end up with nothing worthwhile. Instead, start with an idea of what you want to accomplish, consider your skillset, and narrow down your search with keywords, parameters, etc. That’s how you make progress on a job search and stand out from the pack.” – Jeff Meeks, VP of Sales and Marketing at EnergyFit.
“Social networks are a goldmine for job opportunities if you know where to look, and I’m not just talking about LinkedIn. Build yourself up on various platforms and brand yourself as an authority in your niche. You’ll be surprised how quickly doors will fly open for you, and there will be more options than you can handle.” – John Wu, CEO and Co-Founder of Gryphon Connect.
“Too many young people enter the job market unsure of what they want, just wandering around in the dark. Even if you aren’t certain about your ideal career path, simply choose something and go for it 100% – that’s how it works in the real world. Just get started and figure out the details down the road.” – Tyler Hayden Read, Founder of PT Pioneer.
“Use specific language and terms from the job posting in your application because it shows you’re paying attention. Authenticity goes a long way when scoring that first interview. Add personal touches and put some actual effort in – standing out from the crowd won’t be an issue if you do these things.” – Aidan Cole, CEO of HIDE.
Think Beyond the Resumé
Your resumé matters, but not as much as you may think. Build yourself up in other areas that showcase your value and the real skills you can bring to the table.
“Recruiters spend hours on LinkedIn in search of high performers. Market yourself as a high performer through action words and accomplishments and by having multiple endorsements. You can start by endorsing others – they’re bound to return the favor.” – Consultant and Career Coach Jenny Foss.
“You never want to rely too much on your resumé to showcase who you are because it’s not a very dynamic format. The focus should be on real examples of your best work, whether it’s writing, design, code, whatever. Those assets are way more valuable than what can be conveyed on a single sheet of paper.” – Jordan Duran, Founder of 6 Ice.
“By all means, create the greatest resumé you possibly can. However, don’t let that be the defining feature of your application. You should have your social media on point, a personal website polished, and all relevant information in a neat package. Go above and beyond – you’ll be rewarded with interest from employers.” – Mike Pasley, Founder of Allegiant Goods.
When it’s time to interview, show up like a pro! Be prepared with iron confidence and plenty to talk about on the phone, on video, or in person.
“There’s no reason to be nervous about an interview if you put in the work to prepare. Learn about the company, know what the position requires, and be ready to explain why you’re the best person for the job. It’s competitive, but that should only motivate you to perform at your peak.” – Ramin Oskoui, Director of Growth Marketing at Nurosene.
“It never hurts to be more expressive and energetic during an interview because the other person wants to see who you really are. Don’t fake it or hide your real personality – that’s not a sustainable strategy! Be real, and you’ll find the right fit at your next job.” – Dylan Trussell, CMO of Culprit Underwear.
“Sharpen your communication skills and get into a social mood, especially if you’re just chilling at home waiting for the phone call. Call a friend and practice, or just hype yourself up somehow. You want to be feeling good and confident in yourself. These things will carry over into the conversation and ensure a better impression.” – Seb Evans, Co-Founder of Banquist.
“I appreciate when applicants are specific during the interview and talk about their approach to work in a detailed way. Avoid vague and general language if possible. Explain what you do, why you’re successful, and how you can bring that to the company. Use data where applicable, and don’t hesitate to pat yourself on the back for your achievements!” – Olivia Young, Head of Product Design at Conscious Items.
“Once you’ve interviewed many people, you gain a deeper understanding of their behavior. Body language, the way they speak, how they present themselves – that shows the whole picture. Look to see if they are consistent in their words and attitude. Look for discrepancies and take note of any red flags.” – Deb Niezer, COO of AALCO Distributing.
Nailing that first interview is just one of many stepping stones to come. Maintain professionalism with ongoing communication and be ready for the next challenge.
“Learn the art of the follow-up email, and don’t be afraid to make a phone call, either. Keep that same level of confidence you had at the beginning, regardless of what happened during the interview. When you envision it as a done deal, reality will follow.” – Ryan Rockefeller, CEO and Co-Founder of Cleared.
“The follow-ups and late-round interviews can get tense, so try to stay relaxed and not let the pressure build up inside. When you start to approach the finish line, the hardest part is over. Just stay focused, keep the blinders on, and show up with your best effort.” – Matthew Mundt, CEO and Founder of Hug Sleep.
“Practice common sense when following up after an interview, and don’t seem too eager to get the job. If you’re truly confident in your abilities, you’ll send a professional email and just wait it out. In the meantime, keep sending out applications and building your skills. If you stay disciplined, the right job will find you before long.” – Katie Kiernan, Co-Founder of Nue Life.
It’s not as hard as you think to stand out in this job market. Simply apply these tips, and most importantly, don’t give up until your goal is achieved.