Don’t Stand Still; Stand Out

Screen shot 2012 02 22 at 12.50.35 PM 300x128 Don’t Stand Still; Stand OutIn today’s job market, job seekers need to stand out to employers to gain forward momentum and a competitive edge in the hiring process. No, we’re not talking about hiring expensive resume writers, or attending dozens of networking events, or even accepting internships for little or no pay. Sometimes it takes a lot more than a fancy resume or great connections to get noticed and get that coveted offer – it takes hard work and some creativity.

One of the best ways to gain a lead over other candidates is to knock the socks off the hiring manager by showing him/her who you truly are as a person, including how you would be a great fit with the company’s corporate culture. But, what is the best way to do this?

Job seekers can differentiate themselves in some pretty neat ways:

•    Here’s a story from startup Ridejoy: Like everyone else, Margot sent the company her résumé and a cover letter with five ideas about developing its community. But then she went the extra mile and wowed the company founders with an amazing presentation.
•    Matthew Epstein wanted a job at Google’s product marketing team and created a website and marketing campaign to differentiate himself from Google’s other applicants, including creating a movie. Although he did not get the job, he received many other job offers as a result of his efforts – one of which he happily accepted.
•    Allow your resume to stand out by using a different format to show who you really are – like this graphic designer candidate.

Essentially, differentiating yourself in today’s hiring process takes a lot of work on behalf of job seekers. But, with that extra effort is the ultimate reward of grabbing the attention and the interest of leading hiring managers for long enough to show them who you are and what you can do.

In the words of Reba McEntire: “Be different, stand out, and work your butt off.”

Do you have a great story about how you stood out in the job search? Share it here!

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