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Advancing Your Career – How to Make Yourself Stand Out

When it comes to advancing your career, do you actually know how the system works? Or are you just winging it and hoping for the best?

If you’re like most people, you’re probably more familiar with the latter, which can make it very hard to distinguish yourself from other candidates and make career advancements. Although you can move ahead with your work at a current job role, sometimes the best method is to find a new space to propel your career in the right direction.

In addition to understanding how hiring decisions are made, it’s critical to learn how to make yourself stand out from the herd of job seekers pounding down the door.

The points below can be used as a starting point for you career advancement goals.

Hook them at the start

In addition to your resume, your first impression on hiring managers will usually involve an email or cover letter.

This first touch point is nearly as important as the resume that accompanies it. Unfortunately, many job seekers neglect to give their introduction email the attention it deserves. Make sure to use this opportunity to create the right impression and give the hiring manager a reason to click on the attached resume.

Double-check all the spelling, use formal niceties and mimic some of the language/wording used in the job posting. What’s more, address your email and cover letter to the hiring manager by name if you can.

The chameleon resume

We all know that person – the friend or acquaintance that has an uncanny gift for fitting in at any event seamlessly.

This may seem insincere, but if you pay attention, it’s usually not the case. These types of people just know how to appeal to the group that they’re with and are talented at reading others. It’s an admirable talent that is useful in both our personal and professional lives and can be attained with a little time and effort.

Before you submit your resume, take the time to tailor it for the company and job that you’re applying for. Showcase your strategic-thinking skills by highlighting the abilities and experience to your potential employer.

The proactive approach

It can be easy to forget about the job you’ve applied for after you hit send. Just keep in mind that it’s also easy for hiring managers to forget about you as well.

This is where the follow-up comes in.

Once your resume has been sent, reach out a couple of days later with an email or phone call to promote yourself a second time.

Another way to be proactive is to apply with a company before they put out an official job posting. It’s common for businesses to wait for a period before listing vacancies on their website or online job boards. Getting in early is a strategy that can help get you noticed before the other candidates start flowing in.

Your online persona

Keeping those embarrassing pictures from your last goat rodeo out of the public eye is a given.

But what else should you consider when it comes to your online image?

Your social media profiles and personal websites can be an effective way to showcase your professional skills. Creating an active profile and networking on social media are quickly becoming non-optional if you want to advance your career.

You can also get a little creative with this step and use social media advertising to target the executives at the company you are trying to get hired with. Taking a little extra time and effort can pay off in a big way.

After you get in the door…

This probably goes without saying, but when you manage to land an interview for the position that you’ve been stalking, you don’t want to blow it.

Bring the research and skills that you’ve already promoted to the hiring managers with you—and remember the thank-you note. Remind them of who were, attach your resume and thank them for their time.

Oh, and if you truly want to go the extra mile, send an actual physical thank-you note to their office. Happy hunting!

About the Author Annabelle Smyth

Annabelle Smyth is a freelance writer who covers everything from HR to technology and leadership skills. Her most recent work involves partnership marketing with Bamboo HR where she has had the opportunity to learn about the relationship between leadership and successful businesses.

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