Distance Yourself From the Competition With These 5 Strategies

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You prepared your resume. Invested in a closet full of professional clothing. Brushed up on your interview skills.

But you still feel like one in a large crowd of other job seekers. How do you stand out from the competition and distance yourself from all of the other job seekers out there?

Check out these five ways to stand out from the job-seeking crowd:

Build an online portfolio

Building an online portfolio can help you stand out for several reasons. First, they’re more convenient than a bulky print portfolio, and they allow potential employers to look through your work at their own pace.

In addition, an online portfolio can help increase your visibility to employers who might not have access to your work otherwise (they may be in another state, for example, or work for a virtual company).

Not tech-savvy? Don’t worry. There are several free sites that walk you through the process. Check out Wix, Carbonmade, or ALLYOU to get started.

Utilize a personal blog

As long as it stays relatively professional (no inappropriate photos or language), think about creating a personal blog as a way to stand out from the job-seeking crowd. Unlike professional samples, a personal blog can be in any format and about any topic. And, a personal blog can showcase your individuality and unique voice better than any other sample.

You can link to your blog on your online portfolio, as well as social media sites and use it to build your personal brand. Think about your future and where you want to end up. How can a blog help with that?

Take advantage of social media

Social media can be a great way to interact with potential employers. More than just liking a business, job seekers can now interact with them on a personal level. In addition, with individuals having personal social media profiles, job seekers can connect with employees of an organization.

Use social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to network with organizations and individuals, look for relevant discussions and join the conversation to get your name noticed.

Ask for a job shadow

If you’re really passionate about an organization, but they’re not hiring, consider asking to shadow one of their employees in the field of your interest. This will demonstrate your passion for the company and your willingness to go above and beyond instead of waiting for an opening.

In addition, consider offering to do freelance work for an organization to showcase your skills. If you are a writer, offer to write an article for their website or blog. If you have design skills, create something for the company and send it their way. Getting your foot in the door, whether through job shadows or freelance work, will help potential employers to remember you when they do have openings in the future.

Offer to meet with an employer when it’s convenient for them

Offering to meet and discuss opportunities whenever it’s convenient for employers shows you’re flexible and willing to work with their schedule. Keep in mind it may be on their own time, so make it fun by incorporating coffee, food or happy hour.

This will allow you to discuss potential opportunities within an organization in a relaxed, casual environment.

Although searching for a job can feel like a competition, there are ways to stand out and get your name noticed.

What are other ways for job seekers to stand out from the crowd?

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.