Regardless of your industry, age, background, skill set, or experience level, there are tried and tested hacks that you can take advantage of to help you cut through the competition, get off the job search treadmill, and lock down your next great job opportunity.
HACK #1: Maintain Authenticity
It’s harder than ever before to connect meaningfully with a hiring manager. They’re usually swamped with resumes and cover letters from highly polished candidates with similar backgrounds who over promise and work tirelessly to come off as improbably flawless—so much so that it can be hard to tell one from another. If you aim to be the “perfect candidate,” not only will you get lost in the crowd, but you also will seem too good to be true to folks who have been in the recruiting world for a while and have incredibly sharp lie detection skills.
Make the choice to be authentic at every stage of the job search process—avoid over-embellishing, exaggerating, and making outright lies. When telling the story of who you are on your documents and in interviews, be honest, forthright, and humble. Not only will it free you from the stress and anxiety of possibly getting tripped up by a lie, but you’ll come off as more relaxed, confident, and personable along the way—all wins for you.
HACK #2: Demonstrate Value
Don’t be the candidate who expects the skies to open and the curtains to part for them when they’re on the job hunt trail. Your primary mission when hunting for a job is to demonstrate your value and show companies how you would be a real asset to their teams. Focus on explaining that you can recognize and anticipate their needs (and capably meet them), and you’ll be one step ahead of the competition—and several steps ahead of those entitled candidates who make all the wrong moves.
HACK #3: Do your Homework
Make sure that you’re fully prepared for every interaction you have, whether over email, during a phone conversation, or on an interview. Be well versed in the latest news, trends, and tools in your industry and learn what you can about each target company you meet with, including ideas for helping them relieve their pain points and ways that you can help them reach their target goals.
Don’t just keep this valuable info in your pocket in case it comes up—be proactive and showcase what you know when appropriate. You’ll put yourself one step ahead of candidates who spent more time picking out an interview outfit than preparing effectively.