Job Search: Distinguishing Yourself

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It need not be said that technology plays a significant role in our lives, but it is important to understand how vital it is to your career. This hardest thing for most people to figure out today is, how do we show employers our capability and willingness to learn and apply new technologies.  Lauren Johnson wrote an article about using Snapchat to land a job and I felt motivated to share the three tips that I see as crucial. However they will that when used together, I see as crucial to standing out when trying to snag a job.

1. Research, Research, Research

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Before all else, Research is the most important thing you can do. Since I am a planner and strategist so it’s easy for me to say that research is key. The truth is that employers and professionals are looking for people who will go above and beyond the average person. It says a lot about you when you have deeply research the companies you are applying to.

It says even more so when you have gone out of your way to discover the skills they deeply desire and acquire them. An example of this would be, finding a job opening at a new agency and you research the desired skills for that position. You see that this company could use all the skills you have but they also want someone who knows basic graphic design and adobe creative suite skills. Which leads to the next tip/step.

2. Learn Tangible Skills

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It’s not enough to just research the skills that these companies want, if you want to work there, you need to go out of your way to learn the unique skills that will set you apart. There are dozens of online tutorial sites that can teach you virtually everything that you need to know to actually acquire tangible skills.

Knowing industry information isn’t as important in the digital age what with search engines acting like a digital memory. What employers want in new hires now are applicable skills that can be applied and used to perpetuate the company. This means learning skills like the Adobe Suite, Final Cut pro, Microsoft Office, and much more will be a critical component to distinguishing yourself from competing applicants.  So once you take the time to learn the skill you’d think that would be enough, right? Wrong. This leads to the final step

3. Create personal project

Once you actually learn these skills, it isn’t enough to just say you have them. If you go into an interview tell the person interviewing you that you have skills in adobe creative cloud, you better be able to back that up. Which brings up the importance of personal projects. So many people get in this mindset that they only have to do things that are assigned to them.

Personal projects require you to be intrinsically motivated because there is no point to what you are doing other than to fulfill the goal you set for yourself. These are important because they allow you to develop your skills into physically or digitally produced items. It will be these projects that you can actually show during your interviews to set you apart.

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Personal projects prove that you have not only researched what the company wants, but also you have learned the skills they desire and physically produced something to prove it. This goes above and beyond what more people do to apply for a job.

-Nathan