December’s jobs report was not only discouraging to the economic recovery, but it also left job seekers disheartened.
The number of jobs created in the last month of 2013 fell significantly short of analysts’ expectations at 74,000. What’s more, the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% as more people gave up their search for employment and dropped out of the workforce.
While the report was certainly sobering, finding a new career opportunity doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem. The job-hunting process can feel frustrating, but it doesn’t matter how many resumes you submit, interviews you attend and follow-up notes you send, if you don’t believe in yourself, you aren’t going to get hired. After all, if you don’t believe you’re capable of handling a position, no one else will.
Here are four tips to help you stand out in the overcrowded job market and get noticed with employers.
1. Show your face as often as possible. We have become way too reliant on technology to solve all of our problems. And when it comes to finding a job, technology can work against you.
Employers are more likely to remember someone they’ve met in person or spoken with over the phone. Anyone can have a standout resume. But it’s the person behind the resume that the employer will remember and ultimately hire. Use your network to get in front of people and strive to set up in-person meetings. Meeting face to face gives you a chance to connect with potential employers and shows you run your career as business owner would operate a company.
2. Prove you fulfill a need. When looking for a new job, the key is to find a place where your skills, knowledge and work ethic will make an employer’s life easier and the enterprise more successful. When approaching potential employers, make sure you solicit information about what they want a new employee to fulfill for their business and then convey why you are the right person to fill that role. Sure, a big reason to work is to get paid and support yourself, but that’s a given. When you show an employer how much you’re worth, they will be more likely to pay up and hire you for the job.
3. Stop sitting in the victim’s seat. Another major mistake candidates make is viewing interviews as if they are being put on the witness stand and they are only there to answer questions.
This is not true.
It’s refreshing for employers to meet with prospects who seek to figure out how (or if) they can contribute to the organization in a way that is not only necessary, but different from the other candidates. When meeting with potential employers, change your mindset and think of it as a two-way meeting between two professionals looking to figure out if they can help each other. That shift in attitude alone will make you stand out.
4. Don't be afraid to stand out. People are so often afraid to stand out at work over fear of not being liked by their colleagues. When looking for a new opportunity, consider it a good time to shift the way you work with others. You don’t have to be part of the fray to be liked or to get along with colleagues. But you also don’t have to be a “suck up” to stand out.
Distinguishing yourself from others will not only land you the job, but it will also encourage you to be more of who you really are while at work, help you gain respect from your new colleagues and put you on track to receive future opportunities, both internally and externally. Attitude is everything. Your healthy attitude toward your work will not only help your career, it will become contagious to those around you.
Lindsay Broder, The Occupreneur™ Coach (on Twitter @occupreneur), is a certified professional coach based in New York. A Wall Street veteran, she specializes in Occupreneur™ coaching, strategy and crisis management services for executives, business leaders and organizations who strive to improve their businesses or careers.