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How To Land Top Jobs by Distinguishing Yourself

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

Here is the truth: because of recession, or otherwise, competition for the best jobs is at its height right now. And it’s only going to get WORSE.

Being a hardworker, or having really great skills or experience isn’t going to be enough to stand out from the crowd. How will employers know? The ONLY way to land these jobs is to be distinguishable from everyone else upfront. How do you do that?

OK, I am not going to give you a formulaic answer – because if there was such a thing, everyone would try to distinguish themselves in the same way, resulting in being indistinguishable again, right? What I can share with you is 6 tips that will work in combination to make you truly distinguished. In fact, I’m mostly bringing together into one place several threads I’ve published recently.

‘The Distinguishing Path’

Sounds a bit zen doesn’t it, but it isn’t a spiritual thing. It’s quite simple in fact, and each step addresses a specific stage of the how you get a new job – the jobhunting process. This is a rough science as you’re a unique individual, as are the jobs available in your industry, but there is a pattern that is common to all.

And here it is.

How To Land Top Jobs by Distinguishing YourselfI’ve created a graphic to show you ‘the path’. And here are the stages of that path:

  1. Seek the Best Jobs before the recruitment process begins! So this tip suggests that you don’t even wait for the recruitment process – you initiate it. This involves searching for the very best jobs before they even become vacancies. I covered this in detail in my post ‘How To Search The Invisible Job Market‘.
       
  2. Build RAPPORT and TRUST with recruiters. It’s no secret that a recruiter or headhunter can make or break your chances of landing that top job. Unless you break through by finding the job from the ‘invisible job market’ (see 1), then these guys hold all the cards.
     
    So the only way you’re going to succeed is to get them on your side. So this involves getting to know them, and building trust. You build trust by doing what they ask – period. If they find you an opportunity and an interview, then go along. Don’t let them down – make sure you turn up on time! The other way to build trust is to throw them a bone… that is give them names and details of your friends who are recruiting or wanting to be recruited. Share your network with them! Give them insights and help them build your business; it will be given back 10 times over.
     
    Treat these folks like they’re your only foodsource, and they will keep feeding you steak. How is this distinguishable? Well not many people do it, in truth. And because you’re sharing the value of your network, then you hold the keys to their penetration of it.
       
  3. Produce a resume that readers CAN’T put down. The thing to remember is that your resume is stacked against everyone else going for the job. By conforming to what is’ normal’ for a resume means you’ll be intentionally be making it mediocre. Unless you’ve found a way of making words jump out off the paper, your resume must capture the reader’s attention. First, your resume mustn’t be put down because it can’t be processed by recruitment agents, and secondly when it is scanned by the recruiter, it must draw their eyes to the most important information. To learn more about how to do this, then see my post ‘9 Highly Effective Habits of Great Technical Resume Writers
      
  4. Create an OUTSTANDING cover letter. What tempts an employer or recruitment agent to read your resume upon receipt, rather than after it’s been sitting on the stack for a while? Guess what, it’s your cover letter. It’s sole purpose in life is to get your resume read first. And here is an article that will tell you how to do just that! It explains why ‘Great Resumes Arrive With Even Greater Cover Letters
      
  5. Prepare KILLER answers for your interview. I’ll be brief here – the only way to do this is to know all the tricky questions interviewers ask, and have really great answers prepared for them. This can be done! And it’s easier than you might think. Read ‘What is the Best Way to Prepare for an Interview? (Part One)‘ and find out how!
     
  6. OK, last one: Demonstrate how SERIOUS you are about succeeding in the job. This last one, I haven’t written about it before. I’ve just dicovered this one myself, and it involves doing something I just hadn’t considered before, and now that I know about it, I will always use it. What is this thing? It’s an action plan – one which you prepare and hand over at your interview. This is the ultimate weapon in securing the job. Why? Well it demonstrates how serious you are about the job as a starter, and it also shows that you’re researched the role and organization, and that you are already desire to add value. This is a high impact tactic as it forces the interviewer to visualize you in the role, and once that happens, the mental image is burned in forever. What a strategy to employ! I learned about this method from this guy (who uses the annoying animated head on his website), but if you can forgive him for that then his method is totally sound! Learn more about this method here.

Last point

And this point is poignant and the most important of all. You might have heard the song ‘Run’ originally by Snow Patrol (now covered by Leona Lewis), which contains the line:
Light Up, Light Up. As if you have the choice!
This describes the most critical aspect of being distinguishable from everyone else: Be uniquely outstanding because you are, and you choose to be. You do have the choice to conform and be like the rest, or be you and be different. If you don’t believe you have the choice to be different, then forget you’ve read this whole article.
  
The most amazing thing about accepting your uniqueness is that it becomes a strength and it shines through; in your language, in your resume, in your cover letter, in your interview. This is what people want, it makes their jobs easier and brightens up their day too.
  
So be distinguished – be uniquely you – as you jobhunt and follow the ‘Distinguishing Path’ and you will land that top job!
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About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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