Five Career Boosters to Set You Apart from the Competition
Today’s job seekers are facing several challenges—not the least of which is an avalanche of competition. In order to land a great job, you need to find ways to stand out from the crowd and immediately impress employers.
Unfortunately, the right skills on a well-written resume are no longer enough. Here are five ways you can distinguish yourself as a job candidate and increase your chances of getting interviewed…and hired.
Use your alumni network
Whether you graduated from college last year or ten years ago, you’re probably still getting invitations to join your alma mater’s alumni association. You might have the idea that the college is just looking for ways to get more money out of you—which is more or less true, but today’s alumni associations actually give something back.
Many are offering a range of services for alumni, from advanced education opportunities to expert seminars, meet-and-greets, and dedicated career services. These sponsored events are perfect opportunities for you to network, grow your contact list—and possibly meet some potential employers in person.
Add classes and certifications to your resume
If you can demonstrate to an employer that you’re willing and able to go beyond the minimum requirements, you’ll gain preferred candidate status. Taking extra classes and earning certifications in areas related to your industry and skill set is a great way to indicate that you not only understand your field, but you’re committed to your career path.
Additionally, earning optional certifications will help you in your career long run with recognitions, promotions, and raises.
Join professional industry associations
Like alumni networks, industry and professional associations are often viewed as groups that take your money in exchange for questionable prestige. This may appear true, but only if you fail to take advantage of what these groups can offer.
The key to making professional associations work for you is to get active. Attend meetings and mixers sponsored by the organization, and consider running for an office to increase your visibility and involvement. Having a titled position other than “member” in an industry association can really catch prospective employers’ attention.
Become a volunteer
There are a lot of advantages to volunteering—other than the primary benefit, which is helping other people and the community. You get to meet a lot of great people you never would’ve met before, and form connections that are both friendships and well-regarded referrals.
You’ll also have the opportunity to expand your professional network, enhance skills you don’t generally use every day, and gain leadership experience—not to mention improve your resume with impressive volunteer work.
Position yourself as an expert
Today, everyone has access to a wealth of information, and it’s easier than ever to become an expert. You don’t necessarily have to take 12 years of college and earn two master’s degrees to be considered an expert—you just have to know your stuff. You can do that by staying up to date on trends in your industry, connecting with other experts, and putting your own knowledge out there.
Through professional networking, you can find contacts who are frequently looking for small-venue speakers. Offer to give short speeches or sit on industry panels when you have the chance, which will improve both your expert credentials and your public speaking abilities.
You can also position yourself as an expert online: Write guest posts for industry blogs, join LinkedIn groups and participate in discussions, answer questions on networks like Quora, or become a Wikipedia editor. All of these things will improve your online footprint and add to your expert status.
Taking just a few of these steps will help you set yourself apart from the competition, and make your job search easier—and more productive. To begin working with the behavioral health staffing experts at PsychPros today, contact us at (513) 651-9500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.