The “Get Seen” Dilemma in Online Job Hunting
5 Tips for Standing Out
If the on-line job search is more “off” than on, there is hope! You can stand out from the crowd, but you have to dig deep and go beyond professional qualifications. Any position- top level or entry – is going to attract candidates with similar levels of education and experience. What will make you stand out? It may not be what you think. So don’t fret that you are applying for a producer internship when you have little producer experience. Rather than tweaking, twisting, and revising your resume – trying to make something sound, let’s face it, more important than it is – here are five tips for making a great impression:
- This Is Personal. Your prospective employer wants to know what you are like as a person as much as a professional. It’s a fact. And no one knows you better than you (regardless of what your mother might say) so get real. Are you friendly? Assertive? Self-motivated? A team player? Make room on your resume for Hobbies, Related Experience, Volunteerism, Organizations- even if you think they have nothing to do with the position. Revealing your extra-curricular activities gives an employer powerful insight into who you are as a person. Do you feed the homeless? Read to children? Perhaps you play on a co-ed softball team or collect vintage records. These are exactly the kinds of insights that will make you stand out.
- Truth in Advertising.Not.Lie. And I recommend resisting the temptation to exaggerate. If the job requires a skill or trait you do not have nor want to obtain, this may not be a good fit for a reason. Your experience, be it vast, limited or somewhere in between, is what it is. There’s only so much tweaking you can do to make dog walker sound like veterinarian. However, if you are a dog walker with an incredible record for being dependable, on time, resilient, (no poop is too large for you!) responsible (remember that time you went above and beyond to get Sammy to the vet in a cab?) and creative, then these may be the very traits your new boss is looking for at his ad agency.
- Accept the Inevitable. What you really want is an interview. Think of this like on-line dating: the meeting or “interview” determines if this is a good fit. This is your focus. Period. There are no perfect responses or questions, just the opportunity to see if this is a good match. Welcome the opportunity and embrace the experience. Acceptance Part 2: You cannot be all things to all people. Your job search will include rejection and maybe you’ll be the one who does the rejecting. You may never love this aspect of the job search, just don’t spend time hating it. Acceptance is part of the process. There will be plenty to send your emotions into orbit; don’t add to the drama, which leads me to…
- Attitude is everything. Staying positive and focused is key and this takes effort. Desperation and negativity may be lurking around the next rejection, which drains your energy and blurs clear thinking. Give yourself a set time to grieve, then release and move on. Develop a mission statement to keep you mentally focused. Think of yourself as a Brand and what you stand for. Your statement should be concise and personal – something not shared with the masses. At the end of the day, it is important to look in the mirror and say, “Job well done” with arms akimbo. And I highly recommend doing just that. Be your own best friend and coach.
Perfect Schmerfect. Just as important as a great attitude is releasing the idea of perfection. Please, do not let the idea of the “perfect” job ruin an amazing opportunity. Also, release the notion of perfect responses in perfect interviews. Embrace the idea that every experience (or position) offers opportunities to learn, develop new skills, grow, and give to the community. Readjusting the sightline is often the best recipe for great success.