According to some reports, the average corporate job offer attracts nearly 250 resumes. Of the 250 applicants, only 4 to 6 will get called in for an interview. But ultimately, only one person will get the job. The foregoing demonstrates just how competitive the job market can be. These days, it is a struggle to get an interview, let alone hired.
That means more than ever, candidates need to seek out every advantage they can to stand out from the competition when applying for work.
Here are six strategies you can use to help you stand out in a competitive job market.
1. Upgrade Your Credentials
One of the easiest ways to stand out is through your credentials, whether it be through education or certifications. These days, having a college degree is a huge advantage. While more than 80 percent of all job openings for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher are advertised online, only 50 percent of jobs requiring a high school diploma are posted online. This makes it much harder for workers without degrees to connect with prospective employers. Not to mention, some professions absolutely require a particular degree.
If going back to school is not a possibility for you at the moment, seeking out professional certifications may be a quicker and more affordable way to boost your credentials and differentiate yourself from other candidates.
2. Customize Your Resume
Each resume you submit should be tailored to the specific job you want. Pay careful attention to the job description and be sure to include in your resume what the posting requires. Even go as far as using some of the same language or keywords. Also, be sure to use a combination of both hard and soft skills in your resume.
3. Improve Your Online Presence
According to Inc., 54 percent of employers have eliminated a candidate based on his or her social media activity. And 90% of employers will consider an applicant’s social media activity during the hiring process. And so, make sure your social platforms present you in the best possible light.
Another way to improve your social presence is to build an online portfolio that showcases your work. This is particularly useful for writers or graphic designers.
4. Broaden Your Network
Networking is still a very efficient way of helping you form connections that can lead to meaningful employment, or at least securing an interview. Do not be afraid to tap into your network to see if you know someone who works for your potential employer. Also, make an active effort to meet people in your industry. One great way of doing this is to join professional associations.
5. Engage In Relevant Experience
Just like many employers seek candidates with the right qualifications, they also want employees with relevant work experience. And the more relevant experience you have, the more likely you are to stand out.
In some cases, it can be hard to even secure a job to provide you with the experience you need. That is alright. Do not be afraid to pursue and then add volunteer work to your resume if it is relevant.
6. Get Better References
While your high school best friend may know you better than anyone else, that does not mean he or she is the optimal reference. Ideally, you can find a professor or former employer that will not only speak to your character, but also your ability to perform. Go even further by finding a reference that works in the same industry or works in a similar position to the one you are applying for.
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