Management April 29, 2010 Last updated April 29th, 2010 2,066 Reads share

Job seekers: what are you doing to stand above the competition?

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Okay it’s competitive out there, lots of talent and not an abundance of jobs. That said… there are jobs and I have noticed more activity in the marketplace that I did in 2009. So if you are prepared to put the hard work into your job search success is likely to follow.

I had a recent conversation with two recruitment managers who work for leading multinational companies on what separates a great from a good candidate. Both mentioned that for every role they have to fill they will have at least 5 excellent candidates that are equally strong on paper. Very often after interviewing they are still faced with a dilemma of who is the best candidate for the job.

So how do they decide? Here are 3 things they look for:

#1. Passion

This can be difficult to get across in a CV or cover letter, however it is vital that you demonstrate enthusiasm for both the company and position at interview stage. Many recruiters have mentioned to me that they have been very disappointed with the attitude, poor body language and a lack of eye contact that many candidates display at interview. Often the candidate with the strongest cv loses out to a more enthusiastic upbeat candidate. So, go to an interview with a smile and with the same excitement as you would have if you were off to see your favourite band or football team play! It’s not a funeral folks; this could be the beginning of a new beginning!

#2. Cultural fit

Companies have become increasingly aware of the importance of looking after their existing staff and ensuring that they nurture and retain their top talent. For this reason companies are taking a lot of care in recruiting candidates that will fit in and add value to their existing teams. The last thing a company needs is to hire a super candidate on paper that upsets the “apple cart” and destroys the productivity and morale of an established team. So find out who is working in the company and where possible try to talk to staff about the company culture prior to interview. It is no secret that the first place many companies look for new staff is through staff referrals.

#3. Personal Blog

A personal blog can be a really super way to demonstrate your knowledge and skills. Very often a blog can give an employer an insight into your personality and your sheer passion for the subject matters you blog about. A good relevant blog can be the difference between an interview and an unsuccessful email. Many job seekers have time to invest in developing a blog and starting a blog can be extremely liberating for a job seeker.

Job seekers I have spoken to feel that writing a blog gives them back their voice, reconnects them to their industry and more importantly gives them back some control. So a good idea is to experiment with a blog and take some time to feel comfortable with your content about what you are doing before you broadcast your content to the world. I would recommend , as a great site for setting a free blog. If you are not technically minded, do not be put off writing a blog, it is as easy as producing a word document. If you are not a great writer take note that the vast majority of the 250 million blogs out there are not written by literary geniuses. So no excuses and as the Nike slogan says… Just Do It.

Thanks for reading my post. Do you think you can be too passionate about your job search? What are your thoughts on company culture and would you pursue a position if you thought you would not fit in to the company culture? Do you think that a more detailed blog on “Blogging as a job seeker” would be a good idea or have I got my point across?

Greg Fry

Greg Fry

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