Recently I attended a very large, and very crowded free outdoor 3-day music festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.  Moving between six stages of exceptional talent proved to be an arduous and exhausting experience; that thankfully wouldn’t diminish the inspiration and invigoration fueled by the great music.
But I was thinking that it might have been easier to enjoy the whole experience if I could have levitated my way around the park, hovering over the crowd to achieve a personalized perspective for viewing the performers I wanted to see.  In doing so I’d be able to avoid the ground rush that made getting from stage to stage and act to act such a pain.
Ultimately, isn’t that what job seekers want too, to rise above the crowd?  Wanting to be recognized above other competing candidates is what every job seeker and career-advancer strives to achieve.  And with the high volume of competing candidates, getting recognized is even harder to do.
Part of the problem is that every job opening is drawing a high volume of respondents! This of course increases the likelihood that there will also be a larger number of equally, or better qualified candidates than yourself.  (And a larger number of unqualified candidates too!)
Keep in mind that employers typically need to find only about five viable candidates – people whose qualifications actually appear to match the job description/announcement – to start the interview process.  If the employer finds those five other contenders before they find you, the probability of your receiving a response and interview will drop dramatically.
How can you become a candidate that stands above the rest of the crowd?
1.  Network like crazy!  Tell everyone you know – using email, phone, online social network, face-to-face contact, or old fashioned letter writing – that you are looking for a job.  Be as specific as possible.  If you’ve already identified a particular company where you’d really like to work, find out as much as you can about the people who do the hiring, and who are the department heads where you’d like to work!  Find out what events they attend, where they hang out, etc.
2.  Make sure your resume, cover letter and all written communication is succinct and accurate. Be able to back up any claims (see previous blog post), provide certificates, proof of training, and qualitative statements of your most effective accomplishments that most closely match the needs of the employer.
3.  Describe specifically how you will satisfy particular issues faced by the company.  Your research and networking should reveal particulars to address.  Provide concise details of your professional experiences that are as closely matched to the needs of the employer as possible.
4.  Demonstrate your interest.  Follow up on your resume/cover letter submission with a phone call and let the employer know about your passion for the position and the industry.  Briefly convey your absolute strongest, most relevant attribute that will get the employer’s attention and pique their interest.
5.  Provide a variety of perspectives.  In the signature line of your letter, include links to professional articles, white papers, and blogs you’ve written or online profiles and recommendations that emphasize your relevant strengths and experience.
6.  Are you a thought leader? Are you ahead of the curve on industry trends, tech knowledge, or the development of a specialized or new type of product?  If you are, make certain your provide the employer indication and evidence of your contributions.
Depending on your industry or specialty, there may be other ways for you to stand above the competition and help employers recognize the positive impact you can have on their company.  Talk to your most trusted advisers and brainstorm about your strengths and experiences and how to make you resume float above the crowd.
To learn about other ways we can help you with your career, please visit:  hanklondon.com.
Watch for details on Hank London’s new E-Books, available soon.

By Hank

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