The job market is brimming with opportunities.
To convert those chances, you’re going to have to change the way you approach how you present yourself in all aspects of your life, from social media to the way you dress to what you do for professional development.
In our first post in this two-part series on making yourself a valuable hire, we covered a good mix of tips, including committing to networking, uploading a video resume to your LinkedIn page and doing a social media audit of your accounts.
This second and final installment of the series covers a few more bits of expert advice for increasing your hire value.
#1 Use Your Interview to Talk About the Value of Your Past Contributions
If you’re lucky enough to get an interview for an open position, you need to go into the interview with a plan. If that plan lacks communication of how your previous initiatives and ideas positively impacted your companies, you might miss out on a chance to put yourself ahead of other candidates.
Nicole Littmann, founder of Aurelian Coaching, said you have the responsibility of not merely talking about what you’ve done, but how what you’ve done reverberated throughout your previous company or companies.
“Don’t just talk about what you did. Talk about the impact it had. This goes for both your resume and your interviews,” Littmann said. “Because you did what you did, the team was able to avoid a bad outcome, or the process was consistently and reliably executed, or your manager was able to make an
#2 Get Extra Training Outside the Workplace for Skills You Can Use Inside the Workplace
Because the job market is thriving, there are great positions to be had. And, as a result, you’ll face some tough competition from candidates who may have identical experience and education. Yes, you can set yourself apart during your meet-and-greet and interview.
However, you need to go beyond that in order to make yourself stand out, says Whitney Joy Smith, president of Smith Training Centre in Ontario, Canada. Affordable online classes are one of the easiest ways to do that.
“You need to have experience with a variety of different fields and gain multiple skills to stand out from other applicants. The easiest way to do so is with online classes,” Smith said. “They aren’t typically too expensive and you can do them at your own pace. Think of the skills that would be an added bonus for the job you want and take a course on it.”
Udemy is a great place to start. It’s a substantial collection of online courses that can cost as little as $10.99
#3 Leverage Your LinkedIn Connections
As we mentioned in the first post of this series, LinkedIn is a non-negotiable for your quest to make connections, network and find the right job openings.
Donna Svei, a resume expert, consultant and founder of Avid Careerist, recommends using LinkedIn as a way to connect with people who already work where you want to get hired.
“Figure out who you know who already works for your target employer. LinkedIn is great for this,” Svei said. “If you strike out, look for second level connections.”
How do you go about working that connection without sounding like you’re spamming them for a job?
Here’s how Svei suggests you proceed:
“Reach out, explain your interest in the company, and ask for an introduction to the person who heads your area of interest. Studies have shown that employers prefer referred candidates over all others.”
We also heard this advice from Apochromatik’s Amy Gardner, who said you’ve got to work those connections on LinkedIn if you want to increase your chances of an interview.
“Having a personal connection is generally the best way to increase your odds of an interview and eventually the position, but you need to start with your online presence first,” Gardner said.
#4 Clean Up Your LinkedIn Profile
We’ve mentioned LinkedIn a few times in our posts, and for good reason. It’s the preeminent networking site for professionals.
And, Gardner says, it’s for this very reason that you need to make sure your profile is up-to-date with relevant positions, projects and skills. Here are a few updates you can make in a matter of minutes, Gardner said:
- Make sure your profile photo is updated
- Verify your employment history is congruent with your resume
- Add recent honors, published articles or videos you’ve been in
- Ask your coworkers for skill endorsements and to write a recommendation