You are not alone. There are literally millions of job hunters out there, many applying for the same positions you see posted on the internet. To make matters worse, an estimated 75% of the 155 million people employed in the United States are actively or passively considering changing jobs. That is well over 100 million competitors.
It would be virtually impossible to be totally unique. However, it is possible to clearly differentiate yourself as you do a search for a new position. MDL Partners (www.mdlpartners.com) has compiled the Top 5 ways for you to be unique and differentiate yourself in your job search.
- Start from the core. “If possible, review, clarify and tap into your personal passion, mission and values. The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why you were born, not the day you pay back your student loan or mortgage. Spend time connecting with your purpose in life,” recommends John Decker, Executive Vice President with MDL Partners for more than 15 years.
- Decide what you are excellent at. Use your past experiences and successes to create a picture of your core skills. Aggregate the top skills into a simple, clear picture. If you have an interesting combination of skills and experience (years in the military and civilian data center operation for example) create your own personal Venn diagram showing this unusual combination and use it to focus your search on the intersecting, overlapping sections of the circles. Create your own brand that people will remember you for.
- Build an exceptional network. Become a networking hub and act as a source of information and contacts for others. You will quickly discover that those you help will reciprocate.
- Establish a disciplined level of excellence. Fortunately every resume and many cover letters have typos or grammatical mistakes. The job hunting world is filled with poor quality work including these errors, forgotten follow-up, late appointments, phone calls or emails. Establish a disciplined level of excellence for your search efforts and you will clearly be differentiated from other job seekers.
- Develop a differentiated search strategy. “If a job posting says to send a resume and salary history to Human Resources, no phone calls please, I suggest that you do the opposite on all these instructions,” mentions Decker. Don’t send a resume (use a two-column letter), don’t send a salary history, avoid HR, and call people you know for an introduction.
MDL Partners works with you through each of the above steps to help you stand out from the crowd and with clients to achieve their career goals and to broaden and deepen their network. There are plenty of times in your career that you will use MDL Partner’s services – and once you are a client, you are a client throughout your entire career. MDL Partners works with clients on their immediate needs today, with an eye towards the future.