How to Position Yourself in the Job Market – Part One

2021, Job Market

When you’re applying for a job, you don’t just want to get noticed, you want to stand out as the only applicant the hiring manager wants to consider. You know you’re the perfect person for the job – and you want them to know that, too. But how do you position yourself in the job market to reach that pole position?

One of the best ways to become indispensable – and known for it – is to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in your particular field. How do you do that? When people know who you are and what value you bring to the table, it’s easier to land a job. It’s a whole lot better than cold calling or submitting a resume, too. You need to carve out your own niche so you can gain visibility and opportunities will follow. Choose a topic that you want to be known for and then pick a specific audience you want to be known to. That audience could be students in Sydney or small tech companies in Brisbane. The point is that you can’t be everything to everyone, so you need to zero in on the right people. You should consider starting a blog, or vlog, and make sure that you are posting consistently. By posting at least once a week, you will develop an audience that can support your career. If you post irregularly, people won’t expect much from you and won’t put the effort in to try and follow you. When it comes to developing a consistent brand image online, you should use the same picture and positioning across every social network profile that you’re part of. And also bear this in mind; we hear the term ‘content marketing’ often as it applies to companies writing articles that get people interested in their products and services. This works in a similar way with individuals. If you’re putting out great content that relates to your expertise and doing it consistently, people will take notice, share it and it will boost your career. You can also use it as a way of networking with people in your industry.

How do you go about positioning yourself in the job market?

Hiring managers spend a considerable amount of time looking at LinkedIn in search of the high performers and the most likely candidates that align with their own vision and position requirements. Knowing this, you’ll serve yourself well to market yourself with as many keywords in your profile as you can (think action words, accomplishments). Also, make sure you have multiple endorsements. How do you do that? Start by endorsing others – we can almost guarantee they will return the favour. You can stack the deck in your favour by asking a few key people to write a LinkedIn recommendation for you.  Tell the person precisely what you’d love showcased and offer specific examples. Recruiters often send their own clients (the companies doing the hiring) right to a job seeker’s LinkedIn page if the recommendations look good, so taking the time to solicit a few great ones can pay seriously good dividends. 

A highly unique way to get the time and attention of small to medium-sized companies that, in your opinion, are finding a niche in a market dominated by bigger, established organisations, is to offer a suggestion for the company or present an interesting perspective of the business that they hadn’t thought of before. In these cases, don’t even wait for a job to be advertised; coffee is cheap! Ask to meet with the director over coffee, and then provide value to them by offering some sort of valuable feedback on their product. You’ll be amazed that in most cases, they’ll gladly give you their time. 

And although you may expect us to say this, you should create a stunning resume that will put you on the interview shortlist. Use as many facts, figures, and numbers as you can in your resume bullet points. How many people were impacted by your work? By what percentage did you exceed your goals? By quantifying your accomplishments, you really allow the hiring manager to picture the level of work or responsibility you needed to achieve this accomplishment. And when you’re considering your cover letter, remember that the hiring manager is likely going to be reading a lot of them (and he or she probably doesn’t really enjoy reading them any more than you like writing them). So, while you want to make the letter professional, you also want to put some of your own personality in it. Crafting an engaging letter with some colour will catch people’s eyes and make them think, ‘Well, this would be an engaging person to work with’. 

In our next blog, well, go past the resume and look at how your interview can be a great opportunity to position yourself in the job market. 

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How to Position Yourself in the Job Market – Part Two