By Jaclyn Ades, Career Coach
As a former Corporate Recruiter and now a Career Coach, I am often asked how job seekers can make themselves stand out among the competition. This was the topic of a recent panel discussion, sponsored by JCS in partnership with the Baltimore County Public Library – Owings Mills Branch, with Ronald Attman, CEO of Acme Paper and Supply Company, and Marla Hiken, Talent Acquisition Manager for The Associated. Truth be told, it is not a simple answer.
Marketing yourself effectively is one of the first steps in the process. The best way to do that is by networking. I tell my clients it’s imperative to be well connected in your professional community. A large network can help introduce you to potential employers. In addition, since social media is everywhere, it is critical to have an online presence. LinkedIn has become the number one online networking website for professionals. Having a current detailed LinkedIn profile can lead to strong job prospects and informational interviews at your dream company. Be sure that your social media profiles are professional. Many companies conduct social media checks prior to making an official offer to ensure the candidate is who they say they are. I also recommend joining professional organizations so you are staying current in your technical field. This will also help you network for job leads.
Once you’ve made that connection, here are some other useful tips.
- Enhance your resume. Consider bolding and italicizing important career statistics to help highlight achievements. Use key words from the job description to help get your resume noticed. It sounds like a given, but it’s critical that your resume be proofread several times by you and others to eliminate spelling and grammatical errors.
- Show your confidence. Appearing confident during an interview is critical and that comes from preparation and more preparation. Spend time developing clear and concise answers to potentially tough questions from the interviewer. Formulate thoughtful questions for the employer to show that you did your research.
- Make a positive impression. Be memorable. In addition to possessing strong technical knowledge, employers are seeking candidates who have solid soft skills, such as communication, decision making, collaboration, and problem solving. These are critical skills that prove candidates are book smart but also relate well to customers and colleagues. Hiring managers do not have time to train their direct reports. They want them to hit the ground running.
Although the competition may be fierce, there are ways for job candidates to stand out. You need to prove to the hiring manager that they MUST hire you. You want them to think you are the ONLY person for the job. Be the consummate professional – the full package. It is tough out there but somebody is going to get the job, why shouldn’t it be you?
By Jaclyn Ades, Career Coach, JCS Career Center
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance.
To make an appointment for a free consultation visit please call 410-466-9200 or go to www.jcsbaltimore.org.