Today’s job-seeking world is remarkably different to what it was not so long ago.
Until recently, a well crafted resume alone would have you stand out. Detailing experience at top-notch organisations and a stable work-history, and you were snatched off the market in seconds. Professional success relied heavily upon experience, knowledge and skill.
Now, knowledge is universally available. The world is ever-changing and increasingly uncertain and volatile. Business is becoming global.
In our new world, what we once prided ourselves upon (experience, knowledge, and dare I say, University degrees) are becoming less relevant (unless of course you’re a doctor or a lawyer).
What’s taken the lead, are softer skills like adaptability, resilience, commercial acumen, and being able to make connections. In fact, I would even go as far as saying, candidates who have a ‘disruptive’ career path (which was once quite frowned upon) are more employable today than ever before.
This is because people with non-linear career progressions learn a different set of skills to those with linear careers. And it’s these character traits that employers are looking for as differentiators between candidates. Typically, these employees’ have an innate curiosity, and an eagerness to learn. They see things differently, they bring an unconventional insight to conventional problems. And they are inspired to contribute and have a determination which can’t be taught or paid for.
So, if you’ve noticed that you are getting less responses to your applications, take an opportunity to stop, reflect on who you are and what you bring to the table, and use this learning to make employers care.
Make it known that you have something different to offer to all other folk out there.
Use the upheaval in the employment and technology landscape, to add a new dimension to your application and to your profile. Amazing jobs are given to amazing candidates, so it’s time to let the remarkable you shine.
Here’s how to get a job you love:
If somebody woke you in the middle of the night, asked you why you love your job and what it is you are passionate about, what would you say?
It’s unlikely you would say that you like to analyse numbers, are a team player and are a perfectionist so have a good eye for detail.
So why say that in an interview? I can assure you that the other 100 candidates will be saying something quite similar so all this will elicit is a polite, smile-and-nod type of response (a response you should avoid). What you want is to inspire people into action.
To craft the perfect elevator pitch, you need to discover your ‘WHY’. Simon Sinek talks potently about how important the why is, and this is integral to anyone talking about their business, or themselves. Your “why” is your reason for being. It’s what makes you tick. It’s why you get up every morning and should have people magnetically drawn to you and inspired.
Your why doesn’t need to revolutionise an industry. It just needs to tell people what you care about. What you’re up to in the world, and needs to light you up as you’re saying it. A heartfelt why, will have people take notice of you when you’re networking, will have people honestly intrigued by who you are, and will have hiring manager NEED you on their team.
When you have an elevator pitch, the next valid question people will wonder about, is why should they believe you. And they’ll ask so too.
Through the creation of content, be it writing articles for an industry relevant niche blog, writing a book, a PDF, a white paper or an ebook that talks about your big idea, you become a personification of your idea. It shows that you’re a thinker, and a mover and a shaker. It shows that you have put enough thought into these ideas that you have been able to not only refine them, but also publish them.
Alternatively, another way to blow the socks off interviewers is by creating a presentation that you deliver during your interviews instead of waiting for questions to be fired at you. Use this to explain why you’re the best candidate for the job including examples from your portfolio. Taking this approach shows that you’re proactive, and shows off your presentation skills and your confidence (go-getter approach). Use this opportunity to express what you can contribute to the team and your role if you were appointed, or take on an imagined problem and solve it in a way that they weren’t expecting.
These sorts of approaches will show that you a) are able to come up with credible and tangible insights for your niche/industry and b) will have people trust in your ability to get things done.
Creating presentations or publishing content will say something important about you, without you actually having to verbalise it yourself.
Create a small business, start your own blog, sell things on Ebay. Open a lemonade stand out the front of your house on Saturday mornings. Do anything that involves more get up and go, than just turning up to your job day in and day out. Sing at a local jazz bar, play the guitar, raise money for charity, participate in a fun-run, learn a language or join a weekly soccer competition!
Doing something that puts you out on a limb and makes you take risks to make a difference to yourself, your team and your community is inspiring. It will enrich your life and have others want to be around you. But it only creates a difference when you actually care. Faking it lacks integrity, and people can sense a mile away anyway.
You might be thinking that having your own business can be frowned upon i.e. employers might wonder how committed you’d be to their business, having one of your own. Nowadays however, it shows that you’re creative, that you know how to follow things through to completion, that you persevere when the going gets tough, and that you’re motivated in a way that the “Thank God it’s Friday” corporate-bunch don’t dream to be.
And that’s a pretty appealing trait, don’t you think?
This is becoming increasingly important. Recruiters and hiring managers will Google you, and when they do, you want to have the first page of search results at least, ALL about you. Your social media profiles, your ideas, your website, and the things that you’ve done and participated in that you’re proud of.
People want to see videos and blogs. They want to know who you really are, and they will ask Google that question – not you. After all, Google sees all these days.
Remember, you don’t want to be like everyone else. You want to stand out from the crowd. Everyone has a LinkedIn profile. That’s expected, just as a resume is. A whole page of Google results about you, is not a given. Not yet. And that’s where you want to be, right now.
The amazing thing is that this is the easiest time to build an online presence for yourself. There is technology, tools, and advice out there for free which give you unlimited opportunities to make yourself visible. You have no excuse not to build a website, not to get yourself online profiles (through various social media platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+) and not to share the ideas that matter to you, nor not to connect to those that believe in what you believe in.
Being at the frontier of the online revolution today, puts you miles ahead when others finally awaken to it’s importance. It will have you stand out of the recruitment game when your future manager does a quick online stalking of you.
Have you ever considered approaching the employer of your dreams? No? You should. Not many people do it.
Once you’ve followed the above tips, you’ll become even more sure that any company would be crazy not to hire you! Your newfound confidence will see you comfortable approaching your future employer, or at the very least, network your way towards them.
Build contacts via LinkedIn and Twitter (this has already taken off overseas) and once you’ve built a few key solid connections (having enrolled them into your passions, what you’ve created, written and built), there’s no way anyone will want to keep you a secret!
Remember, whomever you approach, be sure to show them what value you can bring and how you’ll help them reach their goals. It’s not all about you 🙂
Following points one through to five, is a powerful way to be seen as a thought leader of tomorrow.
And if you’re still not sold, look at it this way. If you met someone at a networking event, who WOW-ed you with an inspiring 30 second elevator pitch about their passion, and showed you a book that they’d written sharing their ideas… Then you Googled them to find that they have social media followings pop up, they’ve published guest post articles on respected websites, they have a funky blog with cool ideas featured, wouldn’t you want to talk about them and introduce them to everyone you know?
Beware: Being remarkable has serious impact and will open doors for you that you may not expect. People want remarkable people around them because it’s uplifting and positive.
And that’s how to get a job you love. Remarkable people land jobs that they love, in remarkable brands.
Keep up, or be left behind.