Text Size

How to stand out in your job search

Chris Rippee, JFCS Career Development Center Career Counselor, has been asked to be a presenter at the Hiring Pittsburgh Career Expo at the Duquesne University campus on August 13 (open to the public; click here for more information). His topic? “How to Stand Out in Your Job Search.”

It turns out that this topic might just be one of the most important things to consider when putting together a job search plan. Given the high number of applicants for every job these days, and the fact that most applications are now filled out online, job seekers need to make use of every single tool they can to stand out from the crowd.

When asked what some of those tools might be, Chris enumerated:

Develop a personal “brand”
A brand is a professional identity that you reinforce through your resume, your cover letter, your Linkedin profile, and other types of professional marketing.  It uses a few key terms, skill sets or roles in order to identify your for particular positions.  As an example, it’s the difference between presenting yourself as someone that can do data analysis and being a Data Analyst.

Having an up-to-date LinkedIn or other online profile presence
Employers can quickly access your resume, writing samples, portfolio, endorsements and recommendations, and more. LinkedIn gives you a chance to show some professional individuality and style, which isn’t often possible with online applications.

Network, network, network!
Attend relevant events, volunteer, and meet and greet potential employers wherever you go. Your family and friends may know people. Take advantage of “internal advocates,” people who work for the company you would like to work for. Even if they don’t make hiring decisions, they know who does, and they know the company expectations, colleagues in different departments, and the kind of employee the company is looking for.

Be proactive; raise your visibility level.
Are you active in your local professional organizations? Community improvement efforts or civic groups? Scouts or blood drives? There are lots of ways to increase your network and become known around your community.

Integrate your centerpiece accomplishments
Focus on the things you have accomplished. Statistics that demonstrate your success make an impact. If you wrote, designed, created, increased or improved anything that helped the company, use that active voice. Not only are you highlighting accomplishments, you are also establishing yourself as somebody who gets things done.

Finding satisfying employment these days can be challenging. JFCS Career Development Center can help you devise a comprehensive job search plan based on the latest internet tools and hiring trends. We will have a table at the Hiring Pittsburgh Career Expo. Find us there, or call 412-422-5627.

Photo: Chris Rippee, JFCS Career Development Center Career Counselor