Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to Sparkle in a Room Full of Diamonds

Phones are ringing, calendars’ are booked and recruiters are drinking more coffee -- it can only mean one thing… job openings! The good news? The job market is turning around. The bad news? The competition is fierce.

The amount of well qualified candidates looking for new opportunities is tremendous. So how do you stand out in a group of front runners? How do you make your mark? More specifically, how do you prove to prospective employers, that you are the one worth investing in? When the competition is close and many applicants fit the position, the best thing you can do is find a way to shine.

Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to stand outside an employer’s office with a stereo above your head singing a song to the hiring team. I am simply asking you to put in that extra effort.Not sure where to start? Not a problem. I’ve started a list of some creative ideas that will help you make your mark. Test a few out and see what you can add.

1) Watch Your Manners: Reaching out for a handshake, remembering names and saying thank you can go a long way. Manners not only demonstrate your professionalism but they make employers feel valued.

2) Find Shared Interests: Look around the employer’s office – what is hanging on the walls? You can tell a lot about a person’s interest by their office environment. If you see a fishing picture, strike up a conversation about your last fishing trip. Maybe everyone can do the job but not everyone can listen to someone talk about their eight hour fishing expedition.

3) Promote Yourself: If you look through your office, chances are you have a few promotional items from various companies. Why do they do this? So you remember them! Whether it is creating your own portfolio, blog/website or handing out a personal business card – find a way to promote your personal brand.

4) Snail Mail: In today’s fast-paced environment, an email may seem like the most appropriate form of communication to send a thank you letter. It’s fast, quick and convenient. However, if you want the job – convenience should not matter. Yes, it is true that most employers will want to receive a thank you letter within 48 hours of your interview. So why not express post a hand written thank you letter? Snail mail (that isn’t a bill) always catches my attention.

5) Sizzle in Style: One of our very own Stafflink employee’s used this trick. He wore a baby pink dress shirt to stand out among the sea of black suits. Whether it’s wearing your favourite red dress or sporting that bright bold tie, find something in your closet that helps give you that extra punch. Some people might be taken back if you show up in a bright orange suit, but a bright purple tie just might make you the perfect amount of memorable.

Not every idea will suit everyone. Pick something that feels comfortable and honest. The point is to find a way to show your personality, passion and drive to prospective employers. If you are truly passionate about a position, demonstrate that passion and there will be no stopping you. As a wise philosopher once said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius.

Do you have any tips for standing out in the crowd while you're searching for a job? Please share your strategies in the comments.

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Written by: Michelle De Rubeis, Technical Recruiter, StaffLink Solutions Ltd.

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