Let’s face it, in today’s job market you may look and sound like everyone else that is looking for a job. In an area like cyber security, you need to stand out if you want to land a career in one of the most critical industries to the world. Simply applying for hundreds of positions and hoping for the best is NOT the way to land a new career.
Keep in mind, you do not want to go over board and look insane. You want to take calculated risks. The goal is to be quirky but not overdo it.
The following is a list of 5 things that you may not have tried that will help you land your next job.
- Contact the hiring manager directly. When you apply directly for a job on Indeed, CareerBuilder, etc. there is a very small chance that your information makes it to the hiring manager. When you hit “apply” you are sending a piece of electronic paper to a HR filtering system that does not know you and doesn’t know the real value you can provide. How do you stand out? I would suggest contacting the hiring manager or recruiter directly. Send a short e-mail or make a brief introductory call to the hiring manager expressing interest in the company/position and mention you would like to set up a time to talk about the company and where you can add value. Your e-mail may be forwarded to HR but I assure you that your name will stay in the hiring managers mind even if you don’t get an immediate response.
If you are working with Stratus Search as your recruiter, we will represent you on your behalf and will take care of this for you so there is no need to reach out to the company directly. In fact, if a recruiter has submitted you for a position you should take your cues from them. Going around the recruiter will most likely irritate the recruiter and the potential employer.
Contact companies that do not have positions listed that fit your skill set. If there is one thing I know about recruiting, it’s that good companies will always hire someone who can add substantial value to their organization. If your skills and experience can add value to a company in an area where they need help they will usually consider hiring you when it makes sense. Good companies are always looking for ways to grow revenue, so you need to be able to pitch yourself and explain how you can do that.
- Make a web site/ Build a personal brand. Make yourself visible on social media. Create value added content and do this as much as possible. A following on Twitter (or another platform) which makes you look like an industry leader is something you may need to point out to the company. Writing a blog can be of the same effect.
One of my most memorable stories of someone going above and beyond was when a candidate made a web site after being rejected in the interview. I did not believe this would work at the time, but he got the job!
- Use specific numbers in your resume (and LinkedIn profile). I am often surprised how few candidates focus on their value proposition when interviewing. They simply describe what they have done and what their responsibilities are, but do not give hiring managers an accurate idea of why they should consider hiring you. Include quantitative facts such as “grew department profits by 30%” or “prevented 15 attacks on x system”. Don’t say “I’m a fast learner”, instead explain “I learned _____ programming skill in _____ amount of time”. Be specific.
Meet hiring managers in person: A sure-fire way to land a new job is to attend events like trade shows and meetup groups where people might be in your industry. Any place where you can meet people in person is great. Attending events will not only be great for opening up doors but can help you develop communication skills that are critical when interviewing.
What are your ideas on how to stand out? Please put your own stories in the comment section.
If you are having trouble getting noticed a recruiter can do this for you or offer to help. Contact Zach Burns today at (727) 308-7887 to plan your confidential career move. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org