Keys to Differentiating Yourself in the Job Market

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E78 Staff

E78 Staff

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In a room of a thousand job seekers, how will you stand out from the crowd? What’s special about your experience? About your skills and your abilities? You know you’re the perfect person for the job, a game changer—and you want them to know that, too. How do you set yourself apart from the rest? Here are five ways to truly differentiate yourself.

Use your network to set up “informational” interviews.
Don’t let the “informational” part fool you. This IS an interview. You’re talking to someone who has the potential to influence your career, even though you’re not there to ask for a job. You still need to be able to convey who you are, the value you provide, and how you provide that value in a unique way. Forward thinking companies may recognize that even though a position doesn’t exist, you offer skills that they just can’t pass up on.  Perhaps more importantly, you’re there to build an authentic relationship with limitless possibilities. Connect on a personal level and ask questions that demonstrate that you understand and care about their problems, unique challenges, and where they fit within their industry. Then, show them how you faced those problems and came out on top.

Always be learning.
Executive job searches at the C-suite and senior level can take a long time. Don’t waste this opportunity – use it to learn something new! Differentiate yourself by adding accredited certifications to your resume. Industry certifications tell potential employers what kinds of technologies and methodologies you are trained in and passionate about. Look at your portfolio and identify any that might be missing.
You can also use this time (and close gaps in your LinkedIn profile and resume) by actively engaging in relevant volunteer work. Stay involved with your favorite non-profits and charities, providing support in your areas of expertise. Everyone wins!

Show them what you’re made of.
When you do find yourself sitting across from the hiring manager at your dream job, show them what you can do.  Be ready with ideas for how you’d like to improve the company in your role. What new features would you be most excited to build? How would you implement a systems change or improve margins? You don’t need to have the company’s three-year strategy figured out, but you can share your thoughts, and more importantly, demonstrate how your interests and expertise set you apart.  Do this with passion and look to engage your audience, don’t just lecture.

Crafting a strong personal brand online can also showcase your talents. By contributing articles (sharing, commenting or even authoring) just once a week, you can position yourself as an expert in your field. Engage once a day and you might elevate yourself to “thought leader” status. This way, when hiring managers look for you online (and they will), what they find will reinforce for them that you are a candidate worth taking seriously.

Project manage your job search.
One of the key concepts from project management is to define what success looks like. Start by articulating your vision of the job you want. Think through the kind of work you’ve done, what you enjoy or fulfills you most, and why. This is a great way to make decisions about where you want to go next. Want to push even further? Every project plan has an implementation schedule and a delivery date. Your job search should, too. Once you commit to a time frame and milestones, establish a daily routine, document your progress and keep track of what you’ve done, what you’re committed to and what you need to follow up on.  Benjamin Franklin said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck” and you don’t want to leave your job search to chance.

Work with a specialized recruiting firm.
Finally, work with a specialized recruiter like those at the E78. Leverage their expertise to polish your portfolio and your approach. They know what companies in your industry are looking for and how to hone in on required skills, education and experience so your resume moves to the top.

Standing out from the crowd can undoubtedly be tough, especially when competition is fierce.  But, it’s not impossible! It requires a good deal of thought, creativity and a bit of fearlessness.  Call E78 and benefit from our experience and expertise so you truly differentiate yourself from the pack.

E78 offers consultative staffing and executive search services specialized in management and executive level accounting and finance talent.  We boost the capabilities and capacity of your accounting and finance department, offering a unique ability to provide an integrated and comprehensive suite of services.

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