Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

14 Ways to Stand Out if You’re Applying to Jobs Right Now

That don’t take too much time

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I am not a recruiter and I’m not a certified resume writer. What I am is someone who approaches job applications as a creative challenge. When I’ve applied to jobs in the past, I’ve always thought:

I’m also a content strategist by trade, which comes in handy here. Telling memorable stories is my thing.

By mid-March, it became clear that widespread layoffs were inevitable. As the months went on, I saw post after post from friends, current and former colleagues and other connections who were out of work. I didn’t have jobs for them, but I knew I had to do something. So I posted the following, which I’ve been happy to see all over LinkedIn the past several months.

Screenshot via my LinkedIn

It’s a chaotic time to apply for jobs at best. Many are juggling taking care of family and other obligations and have little time to devote to the search. And with so many people looking for a new role right now, it’s important to stand out.

Here’s the thing: I’m the mom of a four month old born at the start of the pandemic. I’m not going to pretend like anyone’s focus is at an all-time high or that anyone has the time and energy to devote to job searching right now. So I tried to fill this article with things that don’t take hours to do. Depending on your bandwidth, choose one of them, try all of them or go for something in between. My hope is that these tips will show employers how lucky they’d be to hire you.

Again, this advice is only proven with a sample size of one (me, in the past… and hopefully some of the people I’ve helped over the years). But when nothing is normal, isn’t that the best time to try something different? Let’s dive in.

Job listings are just the beginning

Ah, job boards. They’re so convenient. That’s why everyone uses them. By all means, start here to get a sense of open roles, but please don’t stop here. Below are three more things you can do to increase your chances of finding relevant openings that a bunch of people don’t know about already.

Give ’em a resume worth talking about

Sure, resumes are not the most exciting things in the world. The person reviewing yours probably won’t read every word, so why not give them something great to skim? Here are six things to consider when preparing your resume.

Make sure your cover letter is covered

Some jobs require a cover letter. Others have an optional field for one. I say, why skip this great opportunity to make yourself stand out. There are three rules I live by when it comes to cover letters:

Prepping for the interview

Congrats! Getting a message from a real, live human saying they’d like to schedule an interview is a great feeling. Odds are, you already know how to sell your own experience (this is not the time to be humble), but there’s more you can do. And it won’t take more than 20 minutes.

Job searching is tough during normal times. And while I wish I could spend days just reviewing resumes and cover letters and introducing my connections to one another, I hope this advice gives you a bit of an advantage — without taking up too much of your time (which is so valuable right now).

Tell me: What tips do you have for standing out as a job applicant?

And for my fellow writers, here’s some more advice, specifically for you:

Writer. Editor. Marketer. Content Strategist. Articles in The Startup, Better Marketing, The Ascent, The Writing Cooperative // alyssagreenfield.com

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