4 Secrets to Standing Out in a Competitive Job Market

Dec 28, 2016 | Careers

Imagine this: You’ve applied for a position at a well-known and respected law firm. You submitted your resume and cover letter online, but after days turn into weeks, you still have not received a response.

Let’s examine this story more closely. When you send in a resume, you are throwing in your hat for a position that hundreds, maybe even thousands, are interested in. The truth is, your resume might never even be seen, let alone make it through the vetting process and into the interview pool. Knowing this, do you still feel confident that simply emailing a resume is the best way to land the job of your dreams?

At Terry Neese Personnel, we’ve been helping candidates secure coveted positions for 40 years. To celebrate this milestone, we’re happy to share a few tips and techniques we’ve learned over the years. As the job market grows more and more competitive, our team of expert recruiters have come up with several secrets to grabbing attention from hiring decision makers.


Secret Number One: Get Online

Your resume isn’t enough. Even if you graduated from Harvard and worked for the biggest law firm in New York City, your resume is not enough to get you in the door. You need to have a detailed and professional online presence, such as a strong LinkedIn profile or a personal website.

However, it isn’t just enough to be there; you have to interact. Follow other professionals you admire, join groups that share advice and expertise, and share posts from writers and organizations that put you in the conversation. Maybe even write a few posts yourself. Interacting with your professional community shows this is much more than a job to you; it’s a lifestyle.


Secret Number Two: Customize Your Cover Letters

Let your cover letter be the place where you connect your values and goals to the company’s mission. Show your excitement not by saying you’re excited, but by explaining what about this position gets you excited. Highlight the experience and skills you have that can solve one of their current struggles or challenges. Start off with a brief anecdote that will grab the reader’s attention, and also showcase a success you had that this company needs. Position yourself as a solution to their challenges.


Secret Number Three: Own a niche

You won’t land a good job by blindly sending out resumes. Instead, identify your strengths and your interests. Find where they intersect and make this niche your own. If you’re an administrative professional with a lot of IT experience, carve out a place for yourself as an experienced professional. Present yourself to companies and organizations that can benefit from your specific skill set. Perhaps you’re a legal assistant with in-depth tax code experience. Own this market. Sell yourself to firms looking for this very niche skillset.


Secret Number Four: Start a blog

Show off your skills and knowledge about a specific topic through a blog. You can review legal software, offer tips for keeping workplaces harmonious, or explain better ways to stay organized.

First, subscribe to similar blogs and Google alerts that will keep you in the fold. Next, start your blog on a free site like WordPress or Blogger, and promote your posts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to connect with the movers and shakers in your field, and follow their online conversations. On a daily basis, read their articles, blog posts and social media posts. Respond to their ideas with your own, so you can position yourself as a leader in your field.

If you need help standing out from the competition, talk with one of the experienced recruiters at Terry Neese Personnel. We can help you take a critical look at your job-seeking strategy, and together develop one that can help you step out from the crowd. Call us today at 405.942.8551.