Between high school and college, most students have served some type of leadership position. It can be difficult to shine in a job interview when several of the candidates have the same experience as yourself. So, what makes you exceptional? Standing out to employers may be simpler than you think.
Utilize Your Resources
Ask a previous employer or an organization you were involved in to send a recommendation letter to a future employer testifying some of your key strengths or positive work attributions.
You have probably already heard this one a million times but I will say it again. Building connections is so important to establish relationships no matter what industry you are in. Employers talk and references are key, so take the time to establish contacts with anyone in the industry.
So, you’re on the hunt for a new job or you are a new graduate looking for your first start! Navigating job postings, career fairs and social media can be time consuming. When targeting your job search, how do you spot a great company to work for? It isn’t just the job description you should focus on, it’s also the company. Outside of your family, work is said to be the biggest thing to influence happiness and most of us spend most of our time at work. Also, the more comfortable you are in your workplace, the better you will likely be at your job. Here are some tips for honing in on that company with the culture for you and how to spot a great employer:
1. Internet research. Research the company. Look on their website and read about what they say about themselves and their employees. There are also a variety of websites and forums where current and previous employees can post about their own employment experiences with the company. Social media is also a great tool for researching companies and look to see what brand the company is showing through their social media channels. Does their messaging appeal to you?
Growing up, we were taught to use our manners and have proper etiquette for about every situation, but what about during our job search? We have all been there. Job searching can be extremely stressful and frustrating. Whether you are a fresh graduate, have moved to a new area or are anxious to leave your current employer, we tend to put extra pressure on ourselves and sometimes our sense of urgency clouds the way we handle ourselves throughout the process. With so many other job seekers looking for employment as well, how can you make a lasting impression so that you will be remembered? These 6 simple tips will help you stay ahead of the game by showing proper job search manners and etiquette.
The first thing we do before searching for a job is re-vamp our Resume. Selling yourself through your resume is key. A big mistake that is often made is having one generic resume for each job that you apply for. Going the extra mile and tailoring your resume to each specific job is important and will help your resume stand out from the rest. Also, make sure to proofread your resume before sending it out, you would not want to reference a certain position on your resume and send it to the wrong company – yikes!
Job searching: not for the weak. It can feel like fighting a Demogorgon while trying to save your best friend from another dimension and trying to hide a telekinetic from evil scientists…. Okay, maybe not quite like that. But job searching has more in common with the hit Netflix show Stranger Things than you might think. Have a read.
Disclaimer #1: If you haven’t seen Stranger Things, go watch it now, because it is great. Also, if you haven’t seen, this post likely won’t make a lot of sense.
Disclaimer #2: Some of these analogies are corny and far-reaching. Don’t judge me.
Digital organization is vital for today’s job search organization. Customizing your resume and cover letter for each job opening is essential to get your application noticed and make it through what can seem like a digital maze. However, that means it’s all too easy to attach the wrong file or an old version of your resume during the application process. Making that mistake can be an embarrassment and cost you the chance at an interview. This is where your digital organization skills become essential.
Here are three quick tips to simply organize your career search:
Video resumes have become an emerging trend over the last few years, but as with any trend you should evaluate if it’s right for you before jumping on the bandwagon. (I sure wish I would have done that with some of my early 2000’s clothing choices!) Is a video resume something that will entice employers or turn them off?
The jury is still out on what employers think of receiving video resumes from candidates. A survey by Vault Inc. discovered what while most employers are receptive of video resumes less than 20% have actually viewed a video resume. Some employers are leery of being accused of discrimination if they do not proceed with the candidate, as the video will clearly showcase gender, race, age and other characteristics. If you do create a video resume, simply include the URL on the information you share with the employer and they can choose whether to view it.
In a world where most anything can be found online, it is important to be aware of your social presence not only on a personal standpoint but a professional stand point as well. That first impression can make a huge difference in whether you will land the job interview. Consider what someone may find when they search for you on the internet. Ask yourself, what picture of me is going to pop up when an employer is searching for me? Is this picture what I really want my future employer to see and does it represent who I am on a professional level? It may be time to consider getting a professional headshot done.
Here are some things to consider when getting your photo taken.
I suppose it’s time to take my own advice from this blog to update my resume and online profiles! NO, I’m not looking for a new job, but I’ve realized my descriptors are tired, overused, and dated. Updating your personal introduction, social media profiles, resume or CV should be completed on a regular basis, even if you are happily employed. If you’re actively job searching, it can make all the difference if you delete old phrases and resume cliches and add a few powerful, action words.
Even though it may still fit, my “dynamic and driven professional” descriptor has evolved into a group of resume cliches. You know, those buzzwords that have become abused in the workplace? Synergy. Team effort. Strategic. Innovative. The words we are guilty of overusing in everyday life and conversations: excellent, very, good, love, great…and the list could go on and on.
Most of us on the road to career and self-improvement love (there’s that overused word again) lists of what NOT to do. I guess it’s easy for us to identify what we should be avoiding and make quick changes. By no means is this list exhaustive, but if you are wasting valuable space on your resume with some of these weak words or jargon, then you should consider replacing them soon:
There is certainly no shortage of advice when it comes to the job search process, as most everyone has an opinion about the steps both novice and seasoned job seekers should take. Knowing that the insight comes from a place of credibility is key. That’s why I’ve asked AgCareers.com staff members to share job search lessons learned from their personal experiences as well as from working with active job seekers as part of their daily roles. Interviews with these staff members included so much great information that is pertinent to today’s job seeker!
What are some of the most memorable job search lessons you’ve learned from the process?
“Accomplishments do not necessarily mean you will get a job if they are not relevant to the specific job. Out of school, I listed a lot of my awards and accomplishments that were not relevant to the job…employers are looking for specific skills and competencies.” Carolyn Lee, Talent Solutions Manager Western Canada
“Even if you don’t have all the preferred qualifications listed in a job description, apply anyway! If an applicant meets the required qualifications, employers will likely still consider your application. Oftentimes the preferred qualifications are their wish list, but perhaps not realistic in the candidate pool.” Bonnie Johnson, Marketing Associate
I know the feeling: seeing the job posting that you think could be your dream career and wanting to apply immediately. Hold on! Before you frantically type up your application, upload your resume, and hit “Submit,” think about how that might appear to your employer. Typically, employers can tell who hastily applied to their open positions, and trust me, it’s a turn-off from the get-go. I’ve sat on the other end and watched applications spill in for a position just posted less than an hour ago. Even though you may be excited, it sends the message that you’re sloppy and uninformed (and maybe even entitled). Here are a few reasons to wait to apply to a job posting that will likely make you look more impressive to employers.
Do Your Research.
Do you even know what the company does that you’re applying to? Make sure that you’ve checked out the company and the position through and through before beginning the application process. You may find that the company has an unfavorable reputation or that their values do not align with your own. If this is a long-term career move, you’ll want to wait to apply to be sure that the company you’re working for is one that you can stand behind.