How Do You Stand Out In A Field Of 3000 People?

standout
Author: Sjoerd Gehring
Source: The Daily Muse

You’ve probably heard that the average job posting receives 250 applications, but I’ve seen as many as 3,000 people apply for the same role.

I’m not telling you this to scare you, but rather as encouragement. Because some people do make it through to getting hired—despite that level of competition.

As the Global Head of Recruiting for Johnson & Johnson, I’ve seen what makes the difference in whether people move to the final stages of the application process—or not.

Without a doubt, from interns to C-suite level leaders, the most impressive candidates I’ve seen are the ones who’ve taken the time to define what they want to accomplish in their professional life.

They have a professional purpose.

By that I mean they know why they do what they do, what they want to ultimately achieve, and how they plan to get there. Because they’re so clear on their goals, and so open in sharing them, I can tell almost instantly when I’ve met someone who should be working at our company.

So, if you keep applying and hearing nothing back, the number one piece of advice I can give you is to find your professional purpose and then use that as a foundation point throughout any recruiting process—from your cover letter to final interview.

With that in mind, here are two steps you can take now:

Step 1: Get Clarity

It’s easy to get swept up in the day-to-day of your job. A constant flow of urgent deadlines can make time slip away and, before you know it, two or three years have flown by.

That’s why it’s important to take time out, hit the pause button, and think about what a successful career really means to you. Determine where you get the most fulfillment in your professional life and start thinking about how that could become your professional purpose. Then get something down on paper and iterate on it.

If you’re not sure where to start, Muse Career Expert Lily Zhang recommends asking yourself three questions:

1. What can I do to help other people?

2. What does my ideal day look like?

3. What do I find intolerable?

Here’s an example of how to use your answer(s):

I spoke to a candidate recently who lost one of her parents to Alzheimer’s and had decided to look for ways to contribute to curing this disease. Her plan was to become a recruiter for the next three years so she could identify and attract the best Research & Development talent for a pharmaceuticals company to help them in the search for a cure. Her ultimate goal was to save enough money to apply to medical school, so she could contribute more directly down the line. Needless to say, she really stood out against the other (equally qualified) candidates we were considering for the job.

Your professional purpose doesn’t have to be as profound as that (mine isn’t!), but it should be something bigger than the job’s duties or making money. When you tell a hiring manager something you really connect with, they’ll be more willing to put their neck out, because they know that you have the passion to stick with it.

Step 2: Share It

Which brings me to to this: Once you’ve figured out what’s driving you, don’t be shy about sharing it with others. Yes, it can be a little uncomfortable to put yourself out there, but authenticity’s an HR buzzword for a reason. When you share more of yourself, you’ll find that people gravitate toward you and are eager to help.

Next time you’re asked to introduce yourself, weave in your professional purpose. (If you’re not 100% confident in how it sounds, here are two strategies for creating a one-line elevator pitch.)

I’ll bet people will ask you more about it or offer to connect you to someone who can help you on your journey to achieve it. Sharing a genuine reason why you’re pursuing a certain avenue in your career is much more compelling than listing off your past positions’ titles.

It’s the same in interviews. There are so many boilerplate answers to the question: “Why are you interested in this company (or role)?” And, as recruiters, we’ve pretty much heard them all.

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5 Questions Successful Job Searchers Always Ask Themselves

jobsearchAuthor: Pat Mastandria
Source: The Muse

The annoying thing about the job search is that it can feel like a full-time job in and of itself—and that’s because it kind of is! A truly effective search takes time, focus, patience, and a lot of hard work and vigilance. As they say, good things come to those who wait and put in their time (OK, I added that last bit).

So, before jumping into it and possibly wasting your own time, be very clear that you’re mentally on the right track. You can do that by asking yourself these five questions to make the process faster, more effective, less stressful, and most of all, more successful!

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6 Job Search Tips So Basic People Forget Them

jobsearchAuthor: Jenny Foss
Source: The Muse

The irony of job search advice: There’s so much available that you don’t have to spend more than four seconds Googling about before you land on some nugget of wisdom or another.

Yet, at the same time, there’s so much available (some of which completely contradicts other advice you’ll find) that it can easily overwhelm you. Which, in fact, is probably the exact opposite outcome you’re looking for when you go sleuthing for genuinely useful counsel in the first place.

So let’s do this: Let’s boil things down to a short list of sound, timeless job searching tips that’ll help you fine-tune your strategy so that you may sail through the process (or at least cut out some of the unnecessary time and frustration).
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5 Minute Hacks to Make Your Resume Great

smile-cardboardSource: Undercover Recruiter

Here’s some food for thought.

The time you spend at work will likely accumulate to around ten solid years. That’s ten years of sitting in an office, behind the wheel of a bus, or behind the counter of a supermarket checkout line.  Day in, day out. A decade is a long time to spend doing something you don’t like.  Okay, okay, so we don’t all get to have the luxury of doing work we love. Someone has to do the dirty work, but if you’re not convinced that YOU have to be the one doing work you don’t love, it might be time to change your job.

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5 Ways To Make Your Resume Visually Appealing

resume-visually-appealingAuthor: Don Goodman
Source: Careerealism

Looks do count for a resume. Your resume has to have a compelling message and be easy to read. If it doesn’t come off as visually appealing, it’s unlikely anyone will want to read it.

At the same time, be careful about using fancy charts, graphics, or logos on the resume as it could cause the Applicant Tracking Systems (the software that reads and ranks resumes) to not be able to read it.

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Mastering the Digital First Impression

first-impressionAuthor: Ruby Lowe
Source: The Undercover Recruiter

First impressions are everything, and if you’ve ever been into online dating, you’ll understand why. Tinder (a very popular ‘swipe-to-like’ dating app used by millions) uses the concept of ‘first impressions’ as the overall concept the app. If you don’t like what you see in the first 3 seconds, you can swipe a potential lover away forever.

This same type of first impression happens when employers and recruiters check out your social channels. They will form an opinion on you straight away, probably in the initial 3 seconds of viewing your profile. If you’ve been tagged in a series of photos that begin with you necking tequila shots and ends with you hugging the toilet bowl, it’s safe to say their first impression of you may not have been the best. On Stride has created the infographic below on how to create the perfect first impression online.

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10 Ways to Shine in your Dream Job Interview

Dream-Job.jpg

Author: CJ Goulding
Source: Lifehack

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked younger me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or its adult counterpart, “What are you going to do with your degree?” I would be sitting in the middle of one of Forbes’ lists of the richest people in the world. Every single person has a dream job in mind, and although the particular job may change from age 12 to age 22, we spend our lives preparing for that special opportunity to arise. Now it’s 2014, and you have been called to come in for that dream job interview. So here are some tips to ace that interview and get the job you’ve been hoping for and working towards.

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