Most people when applying for a role will be competing with others with similar work experience and qualifications. This makes standing out difficult as you become swept up in a tide of people all selling similar messages to the potential employer about their value.
So how do you enhance your chances of being chosen for your dream job?
The answer is to get out of the pool.
A much easier road to winning a job is to be proactive in your career management so you are positioned for success ahead of time. This enables you to avoid being caught up in the forums that have you competing against hundreds of others and instead playing in areas with better odds and easier tracks to success.
Ways to manage your career and avoid swimming against the tide include:
- Actively and continuously growing your business relationships in your industry and drawing on these to source potential opportunities and generate warm introductions to suitable organizations.
- Proactively monitoring the market to find suitable companies that you could offer value to, and approaching them directly with a strongly designed letter and targeted pitch, rather than waiting until a position is advertised.
- Building your personal brand, online profile and industry credibility to enhance your chances of being approached by recruiters, or headhunted by rival companies.
- Getting an insider edge with targeted companies through volunteering or committee positions that will have you building relationships with their staff and/or management team.
- Generating credibility with target companies through following and actively engaging with them on social media. You can also use this to keep an ear to the ground for intel that indicates they may be expanding in the near future.
- Joining industry groups or attend events that will enable you to meet and engage with decision makers in companies in which you may be interested in working.
- Planning and managing your career proactively. Assess your goals, skill-set and value so you are continuously positioning yourself for progression. If you see areas of skills that are emerging in your industry that may be growing in demand consider up-skilling so you remain valuable.
- Preparing well for your performance appraisals. Keep a file that showcases your achievements in the last year and be ready to talk about your career goals for the upcoming period with your current manager.
Effective career management builds your visibility and strategically positions you for progression in the new world of work. Plan well and you can avoid months of heartbreak swimming against the tide in the crowded job search pool. Good luck.