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In a saturated and competitive job market, nothing is more significant than turning towards unconventional methods to attract career opportunities.
The competition for top honours also applies inside the school environment. For example: submitting a bursary application also demands creative thinking and the ability to highlight yourself as the perfect candidate.
This requires a strong understanding of your character traits, life story, knowledge acquired and skill set. This combination will allow you to begin building a strong personal brand.
Below are a few methods that can help you along — both in the classroom and the boardroom.
Learn and work well individually
In a business environment that values independence, it’s useful to teach yourself to learn and work well on your own.
Be a self-starter.
This one habit will expand the value of your contributions to any project.
Of course, it’s also important to balance the scales by also learning to work efficiently within a group setting. To achieve any success in the workplace, it’s critical to be a strong communicator and coordinate projects with other people to achieve a common goal.
It’s all about pulling from opposite directions.
Build relationships with recruiters and potential colleagues before you even need them
One of the most underrated skills in business is building genuine human relationships.
Especially when you do it with the intent to bring commercial value to another person.
For example: before you even graduate and enter the job market, it’s useful to create connections with people who work in your field of study.
E-mail and social media platforms make this activity easier to pull off. One way of doing this is leaving positive and thoughtful comments on other people’s social media posts.
Build rapport with people and make it a daily habit.
Use LinkedIn and DM’s to amplify your job search
Make it easier for future colleagues to find and connect with you.
One fundamental step to take is to use LinkedIn more. The platform is well designed for a person who wants to refine their content creation and networking skills to advance their career.
A key realisation, though, is that it’s the same as any other social media platform – only business-focused. But don’t be intimidated by those dynamics. Instead, use it to share with your network the concepts and ideas you picked up at school.
Write about your life stories and tie them to professional insight.
The trick is to go beyond the job boards and focus groups. The unconventional, used well, can bring you great results for your career:
- Write blog articles that cover topics in your field of study.
- Send updates on LinkedIn with the link to the articles.
- This habit alone will support your ideation, writing and critical thinking skills.
- It will also boost your confidence because publishing ideas in public takes willpower.
And if your targeted people are active on social media, it’s also a good opportunity to send Direct Messages to initiate those conversations with them.
Rely on research
Develop a habit of being curious about people and working systems.
This makes it far easier to collect information from company websites, media releases, and employee-generated content and follow different people in the companies you want to work with.
Read job boards, reviews and other pieces of news about the companies you want to work with. Deep knowledge about their business operations will work in your favour when you get invited for interviews.
Ask interesting questions
It’s crucial to show up in interviews, emails or DMs with intelligent questions.
Discovery is a key activity for different types of managers. This includes finding new challenges in the market. Great managers are curious people, always probing and driven by data to solve commercial problems.
Asking thoughtful questions is a chance to showcase your problem-solving skills.
Indeed, if you work to understand a business, you’ll inevitably come up with questions about what you’ve learned or did not understand.
Promote your skills and thought process using side projects
It is fairly easy to assume that marketing and self-promotion during a job search (or any other period in your career) can come off as arrogant. Don’t fall for that trap!
Sharing information about your work is as important as the work itself.
When you don’t market yourself, people will never learn about your work, skill set and achievements.
And in the professional world, promoting yourself well is one of the trademarks of a valuable team member in any business.