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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 September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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