20 Proven Ways to Beat Your Job Search Competition

Beat career competitionLooking to stand out from the pack during your job search?

As an executive search consultant and civic-connector, I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews and networking meetings. Here are some of my observations from years on the job… insights you can use to beat out your job search competition:

1. Those who view the job search as a period of life to learn, share, grow and help others succeed more quickly, with greater fulfillment, and with more value… gain from the experience.

2. Without exception, people help people they like. Be likable. Help others without asking for anything in return. Say thank you. Follow up. Actively listen. Be present.

3. Own your weaknesses and failures as a leader and as a professional. All leaders have them, too.

4. We now live in a 2-degrees-of-separation world. Don’t burn bridges.

5. Take the high road. If you can’t say something nice about a former employer or co-worker, well, you know what to do.

6. Human beings have an incredible authenticity-filter/radar/antenna regardless of formal education/training/job. Be real.

7. We all want to be heard and respected. Listen first.

8. Your email says something about you. Retire the Hotmail account.

9. When interviewing, think of it as a conversation, not an interrogation. When appropriate, pause, think and reflect before responding.

10. Body language is 80 percent of how we’re heard and perceived, especially in an interview. Be cognizant of your facial expressions and what you’re doing with your arms and hands.

11. Do your homework. It’s your job to be prepared and informed for a networking meeting or interview.

12. You can be too early for an interview. Don’t arrive earlier than 10-15 minutes. Anything more and the interviewer may wonder why you have that much time on your hands.

13. Candidates rarely take the time to acknowledge those who helped them get a job once they’ve landed. That means if you remember to say thank you, you’ll stand out.

14. Most unsolicited networking requests come in some form of “please help me.” How can you network differently?

15. The questions posed by candidates are a crucial insight into how they think. Prepare and ask smart questions during your interviews!

16. Candidates who use “we” more than “me” have a higher likelihood of moving forward in any search process.

17. Personal, hand-written thank you notes from a candidate or networking contact are memorable, rare and highly effective.

18. All candidates benefit from showcasing soft skills: curiosity, empathy, positivity, honesty, energy, listening, follow-through, gratitude, vision and mental agility.

19. Think of your resume as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. What matters are the choices you faced, what you chose, why you chose it, what happened as a result of that choice, and what you learned from the decision.

20. Your online reputation and in-person character matters… a lot.

Yes, your resume matters. So does your LinkedIn profile, of course. But if you really want to stand out above your competition, follow this advice. A recruiter will thank you. And you’ll get the job.






For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brazen Careerist!




Lars LeafbladAbout the Author: Lars Leafblad is a principal with KeyStone Search, a retained executive search firm in Minneapolis, MN. He’s also the founder of Pollen and a former national BBQ competitor. Follow Lars on Twitter!



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