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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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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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