“Everyone is unique.”
Have you heard that before? I certainly have but what I want to know is if everyone is unique, is anyone unique at all?
Having pondered over this for the longest time, I believe that we are all unique in our very own special way. More importantly, it is necessary that we use this uniqueness to our advantage, especially when it comes to growing in our career.
The fact is, the traditional job search process is one that is heavily in favour of hiring companies. The power is largely in the hands of the employer, not the candidate. I hate this competitive system because one, it does not do a fair job of evaluating what each candidate has to offer (especially their soft skills), and two, the high failure rate means one has to suffer rejection all too often.
If you think about it, things are much worse because the pandemic that we are facing has further saturated the job market. See, I want you to understand that in times when the job market slows down, due to economic reasons, the quantity of demand does not grow, i.e. companies are not looking for many candidates to hire. Naturally this is logical, since companies’ cash flow has been impacted, their business has been disrupted and their ability to generate sales and income has been compromised.
However, in times like these, the quality of the individual they seek is the best of the best. They are looking for that one great employee instead of the 3 average employees they may have hired earlier. That’s why it is imperative that you market yourself in a way that differentiates you from others.
How can you do that? How can you differentiate yourself in a job market that is seemingly full of people with similar qualifications and capabilities? How can you convince organizations that you can solve their problems and pain points, or, help them capitalize on the opportunities that lay ahead of them better than anyone else?
I have 4 strategies that will help you stand out from the crowd in the best possible way.
1. Watch your language
Companies connect with you for their needs. It’s the same with people. They connect with you for who they are around you and not for who you are. The primary duty of an organization is to generate returns for their shareholders, not to provide you with employment. They will offer you the position when they truly believe that you will add value to the organisation. That is why you must speak the language that shows your interest in their needs and not on your greatness.
2. Understand the three stages of visibility
There are three stages of becoming visible to the company:
Stage 1: The KNOW Stage – This stage is all about how you become visible to the company. How they get to KNOW you. If you don’t create the right context as you become visible to the organization, you will not proceed to the next stage.
Stage 2: The LIKE Stage – This is the stage where you’ve earned the right to play the game and if you play your cards right, you will get hired which will move you to the next stage.
Stage 3: The TRUST Stage – Now that you’re hired, you have to prove yourself and ear the trust of the company. This is where your employment game truly begins and your work must speak for itself to earn this trust.
3. Align yourself
You must align yourself with the organizations biggest challenges and opportunities. This is what makes you a compelling candidate for the organisation. The more a company feels that you are the only key that can help them unlock their biggest opportunities and challenges, the more they cannot let you walk away without making you an offer on your terms. Research is the only way to discover the biggest challenges and opportunities and offer solutions.
4. Documents matter
Present yourself differently. Make sure you have the right set of documents to prove to the organisation that you are indeed the best fit for the position. These are validation statements that go beyond the typical cover letter and resume. Include a list of your select achievements, customised to the needs of the company. These are simple statements that demonstrate to a company that you have walked this road before. You are sharing the whole gamut of information about what the situation was, the role you played and the results that were achieved in a succinct format.
Pro Tip: Use hard facts when creating these statements.
Follow these cardinal strategies to set yourself apart from the competition!