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7 Ways To Easily Get Noticed During A Job Search

7 Ways To Easily Get Noticed During A Job Search

When you’re trying to search for a job, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.  Many great candidates are often competing for the same position. In today’s job search environment, there is a range of qualifications and some people may even be overqualified.

It is simply a matter of supply and demand. At this time there is more supply than demand. So what can you do to bring positive attention to your efforts? Here are seven ways to stand out in the job search.

1. Don’t Mention You’re Responding To An Ad

When a company advertises for an open position, the hiring authority is deluged with cover letters saying things like “I am responding to your advertisement for…” Everyone else is saying the same thing. In your initial contact with the company do not mention the notice of the opening.

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Instead do something different. One example would be finding something out about the company and mentioning it in your initial correspondence. If last year they were the first to introduce a software program, mention this. It shows you have interest in the company and what they do.

2. Introduce Yourself when They Aren’t Looking

If serious about looking for work, you need to conduct a targeted job search. This involves researching companies and organizations you want to work for in a geographic area. This will give an idea of who to introduce yourself to so you’re easily noticed in a job search.

When you target companies you want to work for, send a letter of introduction. This is not a cover letter or resume, but as the name implies it’s a letter introducing yourself and your skills. It provides the opportunity for an employer to find out about you without the formality of applying.

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3. Make a Personal Connection

Networking remains the most viable way to find new job opportunities. One of the best services to use for networking is LinkedIn. The heart of LinkedIn is the ability to connect with others. Search for people on the site in a field or company you have an interest in. Make a list of about 5-10 individuals depending on the amount of time you have to devote to this. Send them a professional message that you are interested in the field and would appreciate feedback they can provide. Most people will be more than willing to help others with their expertise.

4. Seek Advice From Others

Before you go out on an interview, get the advice from others. We have the uncanny ability to not see the whole picture, or to second-guess ourselves. Get wisdom from others in any aspect of interviewing you think you are lacking in. This can range from what clothes to wear to your body posture and mannerisms. People with a different perspective can help you improve in areas that need it.

5. Find Out How You Can Help

One of the major reasons why an employer is hiring is to help with some kind of “pain.” This could be the need for a sales expert to help with expanding territory. It could also be a major project that requires the skills of a top-notch project manager to see it through. Maybe you are that person.

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The key is to find the “pain” of an employer and to show how you can alleviate it. Identify what skills and achievements you have that can benefit the potential employer. Research the company by looking at what major initiatives they are doing. Present yourself as the person who can help drive change.

6. Find Out Who The Hiring Manager Is

You have probably seen in any job opening the phrase “send your resume to human resources.” Truth is, human resources is a gatekeeper and a filter that initially approves who will be interviewed. Avoid this if at all possible by finding who the hiring manager is.

This is possible just with a simple search on a company website. You can also find out from the company page on LinkedIn. If all else fails, try to go old school and find out by calling the company.

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7. Use Defensive Measures

One aspect of the job search is to be active. Another that can help you stand out is to use passive measures. This allows you to be easily and readily found. Many recruiters look through resumes on online job boards or LinkedIn profiles to find candidates. Set yourself up to be found.

Look at specific jobs you are targeting. Study announcements for those jobs or similar positions. Look at relevant keywords and action verbs that are congruent throughout. Place these in online marketing correspondences like your LinkedIn profile.

These activities may require some extra time and effort and putting yourself out there. But in a tough job market, true success comes from using these methods.

Featured photo credit: Kim Seng via flickr.com

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5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

1. Take breaks

First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

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Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

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For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

3. Put your work first

This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

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While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

5. Try to be happy and optimistic

If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

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If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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