Five Ways to Stand Out in the Job Search During its Busiest Months

The beginning of a new calendar year normally marks the beginning of the job search rush. January and February are two of the best months to look for long-term, full-time jobs since these are the months most companies receive updated budgets and sales forecasts.

In addition, unlike a fall job search that is sandwiched between job market slowdowns over the summer and holiday season, starting your job search in the early months of the year gives you several months to make progress in networking and interviewing without losing momentum. If you are launching or continuing a job search in February, it is more important than ever to have a plan to stand out among the crowded field of candidates.

If you don’t differentiate yourself, you will not attract the attention of hiring managers or recruiters. Therefore, you must find ways to stand out by effectively showcasing your skills to potential employers. Here are five tips to help you focus your attention this month on the best ways to find and land new job opportunities.

1. Concentrate Your Early Efforts on a Smaller List of Companies

But first you should spend some time considering what you want in a new job and this way, you’ll effectively narrow your search when you’re ready to start applying.

You can also draft a list of ten companies you want to target in your first wave of job searching activity. To gather ideas for this list, research the top companies in your industry and filter for things that matter to you such as location, remote, or a small startup.

In order to be different and stand out from the crowd, it’s also important to not just rely on popular job websites, after you build your list of places you would like to work, find the employer’s contact information and build a leads list to contact the employers directly. When you actually target the companies it will help you to stand out from the pack.

2. Use Your Connections

Through networking activities, you can receive referrals that help you get on the radar of a recruiter or hiring manager, or gain the inside connection on a job before it is posted online.

The earlier months in the year are one of the best times to connect with old friends and colleagues because many people are also thinking about their own career path during this time of year and are often more eager to network as a result.

Don’t rule out asking anyone in your network for help making an introduction to one of your target companies. Reaching out to your references and network is a great way to find new jobs and stand out from the crowd.

3. Be Creative

You’ll most likely be googled by your potential employer so it’s a good idea to keep your Linkedin profile up to date, but you can take that a step further and get creative with how you present yourself on your profile so you can stand out even more. If you have a personalized profile, you’ll be sure to stand out from everyone else.

Remember to take advantage of every opportunity to showcase what you have to offer beyond the normal job qualifications. Rising above the crowd and making an impact on a potential employer during the busy job search months may take a little more time and effort, but it will pay off in the end.

4. Showcase Your Value

It’s also important to customize your resume to include keywords that match the posting in order to bypass applicant tracking systems. More and more, sourcing is happening via web-bots/search, so make sure your application, cover letter, and resume is geared to the job at hand, with keywords, skills, competencies, and experiences that match the posting. At the same time, make sure it is readable and easy to digest to anyone who looks it over.

5. Capitalize on the First Interview

On top of the professional growth you hope to gain in your new job, you may also have personal circumstances that impact the parameters of your search, such as a need to work from home, an inability to relocate or a desire for a flexible schedule.

While these are all valid work-life needs, you may not want to focus on them in your initial discussions with a recruiter or hiring manager unless the job has a component that you view as an absolute deal-breaker. But if there is even a small chance that you’d consider the job as described, make the decision to learn more about the opportunity, and give the company a little time to see why you’d be a great asset to their business before expressing your concerns. This is especially important during the busy hiring months, when recruiters can quickly move on to the next qualified applicant.

Leave your options open as much as possible during your first-round discussions, and then be sure to express any desire to alter the role before engaging in second-round interviews. By that point, the hiring manager should have some sense of what you are bringing to the table and will be able to consider what flexibility, if any, they have for the position.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to reset and renew. Finding a new job can be intimidating but with these tips, you’ll stand out from the crowd. If you’re looking for more job search tips check out the Meratas blog.

Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content contained herein. Meratas Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials.

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