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Abbas Virji

Special Projects Assistant

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Person highlighted in purple indicating they are standing out in the fair
If you want to get some firsthand knowledge about what is involved in the industry from a potential employer, you can do so through an informational interview.

Standing out amidst many other job seekers in your field is tough. They might all have bachelor’s degrees, relevant experience, similar skill sets, or a variety of connections. But don’t worry, there are many ways you can stand out from the crowd. Here are some suggestions.

Tell A Story

One of the most important aspects of showing your uniqueness to a potential employer is to let them know who you really are. Everyone has a resume and cover letter, but allowing your personality to show, as well as telling a compelling story, is what will really set you apart from other candidates. We all love stories – that’s a part of human nature. So why not use that built-in advantage to your advantage? If you need some help, here are some great tips on using your personality and telling a compelling story in an effective manner.

Create and Maintain an Online Presence

Building on telling stories, an online presence (as has been discussed on the OLC blog a few times) is essential if you want to stand out. Online tools are used every day for recruitment, finding out more about a potential candidate, posting job information, and much more. That means, if you do not already have a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to start creating one, even if you only have a bit of experience (click here for some very helpful tips on using LinkedIn for the first time). You may also want to develop an online site where you can showcase projects, your writing, ideas and interests. If you are more technically savvy, perhaps try something themed like an Amazon resume and think outside the box, take chances, and be resourceful. You will also want to connect with potential employers’ company pages (rather than the individuals’ pages) on social media on Twitter and LinkedIn. Please don’t add people on LinkedIn you haven’t met before!

Indicate That You're a Quick Learner

Since social media is such an integral part of our lives today, you may always want to demonstrate your competency in the field. So, you will want to show that you are a ‘sponge.’ Not so much the soft and porous aspect, but rather the absorption capability that you have. This can be done by, as Career Realism mentions, “display[ing] your commitment to absorbing new information quickly, your desire to learn and grow in your role, and [to] always be[ing] able to cite examples of how you have done this in the past.” Technology is currently moving at a rapid pace, so it is important to ascertain that you are a keen learner. Just being young may not be enough to show that you are able to learn these things quickly.

Set up an Information Interview

If you want to get some firsthand knowledge about what is involved in the industry from a potential employer, you can do so through an informational interview. You could almost look at the opportunity as a kind of mentorship. Obtaining information about specific organizations, types of career options, advice, and access to other people can give you a tremendous edge in your job search, or during an interview. That is why establishing and building authentic relationships is key during your time in school. Another way to build connections with employers is at a career fair. If you’re interested, take a look at the upcoming BIG Fair.

Hope this post provided some guidance – best of luck with your next opportunity!

Beyond the Blog

  • If you want more information about ways to stand out in the job market, contact Career Services (located in MBC 0300) at 778-782-3106 to book an appointment with an advisor.

About the Author

Abbas Virji

Special Projects Assistant
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