Searching for a job sucks. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s time consuming, stressful, and filled with enough rejection to make even those with the thickest of skins a wee bit timid.
All of this can and often does take a very real toll on one’s self-esteem. Add in an ongoing pandemic, and it becomes downright dreadful. But it’s often a necessary evil to find and land your next big opportunity.
Here, we take a look at five tactics to help you stand out and step up into your next big role. Feel free to thank us later.
1. Never underestimate the power of social media….
In an increasingly digital world, it is vital that you leverage social media to your advantage. By using platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can expand your reach beyond those in your immediate circle or network.
A Forbes.com article published earlier this year recommends making good use of the Reddit jobs thread and Twitter #jobsearch, as well as “setting a job alert for words or phrases such as “hiring”, “we’re looking” or “join my team” …to find opportunities outside of traditional job boards like Indeed or Monster.” Having a great social media presence is also helpful as I personally know of people who have landed roles due to their savviness at promoting their expertise and work on social media.
2. Be your own hype man.
There’s a reason why rappers always have a hype man. Music writer Mickey Hess once distilled the hype man’s role to two major responsibilities – “hyping up the crowd” and “drawing attention to the words of the MC”. In the same way, you, as the awesome job candidate you are, can generate excitement while also drawing attention to your amazing talents and skills by creating a personal website that shows off your personality and touts your expertise in your particular industry.
The website doesn’t need to be anything especially fancy. It can be as simple as a landing page that provides information to complement your resume such as links to articles that you’ve written, a portfolio of your work, and a well-written short bio. Since we all know that you will be googled at some point, go the extra mile and give ‘em something worth googling. Professionally speaking, of course.
For some personal website inspiration, click here.
3. Go big or go home.
Job searching, as we know, is not for the faint of heart. That said, in order to do it successfully, you have to learn to move in confidence.
Don’t be afraid to be bold as you look for your next opportunity. Reaching out directly to recruiters and hiring managers can go a long way, as long as you’re respectful and courteous. Asking friends and colleagues for referrals to “insiders”, people at companies that you’re targeting, is a great way to make connections, even if they’re virtual for the time being. The key is knowing what you bring to the table and not being shy about sharing the many ways that you can help your next team succeed. Which brings me to number 4 on this list…
4. To thine own self be true.
You can’t be true to yourself, your values, or your purpose and vision unless you take the time to know yourself. What are you looking for in your next job and why? What are your deal breakers? What do you absolutely need from your next position vs wants that would simply be icing on the cake?
In the same fashion, you need to take an accounting of your strengths, skillset, and accomplishments so that you can clearly articulate your super-powers to recruiters and hiring managers. One helpful thing that I started doing early in my last job was creating and maintain a ME file. This file contained note-worthy accomplishments that I added to regularly. It served the dual purpose of reminding me of the value I brought to my team, as well as being a great reference item when I began my job search in earnest.
There’s also a great exercise called “STAR”, which breaks down to Situation/Task, Action, Result that can be a superb way to evidence your star-power (Sorry, couldn’t resist) by demonstrating how you’ve obtained solid, measurable results in your current and past positions. The Muse published a pretty kick-ass article which explains how to put this exercise to excellent use, complete with a handy-dandy graphic. Take a look at it here.
5. Holla if you need help.
Okay, don’t actually holler, but know that it’s okay to ask for help.
No one, and I mean NO ONE, makes boss moves without the help and support of others. Whether that means enlisting the help of a job coach or simply asking trusted friends and colleagues for feedback on your resume and cover letter, there is no shame in enlisting assistance.
Furthermore, I’ve found that people are usually quite happy to help, especially when that task is something that falls neatly within their wheelhouse (like asking that writer friend of yours for feedback on a cover letter or your photog buddy for a new professional headshot). Just don’t forget to pay it forward once you’re sitting pretty in that brand-new, spankin’ job of yours!