Since 2008 there has been a slow climb out the recession that impacted this country’s financial industry and job market. Jobs became very limited and very hard to get. Today’s market is not much different. We are seeing more and more people applying for a limited amount of quality jobs. So in this tough market, how do you set yourself apart from the rest of the pack?
Thomas Friedman, a NY Times columnist wrote “in the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle but today, average is officially over.” What he is trying to say is that with the amount of people applying for a job, you can no longer be average or directly in-line with the job description; YOU NEED TO BRING MORE TO THE TABLE. This does not mean to apply for jobs you are overqualified. You just need to make employers see that you are going to go above and beyond what they are expecting from the position. This is especially true in a growing globalized market where employers have a lot more access to cheap foreign labor and even the growing world of robotics.
Economics journalist, Adam Davidson wrote in an article called Making It In America “In the 10 years ending in 2009, [U.S.] factories shed workers so fast that they erased almost all the gains of the previous 70 years; roughly one out of every three manufacturing jobs — about 6 million in total — disappeared.” That number is only going to increase with a globalized market.
To set yourself apart from the rest of the pack there are several things you can do.
1) Educate Yourself: Learn everything about the company you are applying for, the market they are a part of and learn who their competition is. If a company sees how much you are invested in them, they will be more willing to invest in you.
2) Be Creative: In this growing market, doctors are doctors, lawyers are lawyers, and sales persons are sales persons. Make yourself a creative [insert profession]. What this means is, find a trait that you are really good at and can applied to that profession and use that to set yourself aside from everyone else. Because now when you are applying for that next job as Marketing Assistant. You are no longer just an applicant, you are a creative applicant and that might be what gets your hired.
3) Perfect the Basics: Make sure that everything else is in perfect condition. This means your resume, cover Letter and any other correspondences with the company. Don’t forget to send a Thank You letter after you are interviewed. The smallest mistake or error here, can remove your name from consideration.
Remember, being average is not enough anymore, you need to be above average, you need to be the best!