How to Stand Out from the Crowd as a Job Applicant

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We all know that the recession has affected the job market tremendously over the past few years. Unfortunately, we all also know that unemployment for the Millennial Generation is at record highs. Standing out in a crowd of job applicants is becoming harder than ever when one wishes to capture the attention of an employer. However, take heart! If you have the right tools and the right attitude, there are ways to stand out from the competition.

1) Spellcheck Your Resume

It’s easy to complete a spell and grammar check on your resume, but many people don’t bother reading over their documents and files before sending them off to an employer. Whatever you do, don’t be careless with this step. Pay attention to details. A sloppy or error-ridden resume is a filter an employer can use to justify throwing out your resume before reading it. You need to get your foot in the door first, so be certain to proofread everything before sending it out.

2) Highlight Why You Are a Great Prospective Employee

Your resume should highlight why you are amazing. Do you speak a foreign language fluently? Are you a leader in your community? Do you hold specialized certifications or have particular areas of expertise? Your potential employer wants to see that you offer more than the next candidate. Companies want to hire someone who is special, so make sure your resume highlights the qualities that make you unique.

3) Be Passionate

One of the most important things that you need to show an employer is that you are passionate. A passionate person is much more likely to be productive and successful in the workplace. Being able to do the work is one thing; doing it with passion and an unyielding sense of dedication is quite another, particularly when working with children and families. Passion separates the great ones from the average ones.

4) Dress to Impress

First impressions are everything, so make sure you are dressed professionally. Research the dress code at your prospective company so that you are dressed appropriately for the environment. Be vigilant in assessing what you are wearing so that you look put together and feel comfortable in your clothes. Looking polished and feeling good will help make a positive first impression on your interviewer.

5) Attitude Is Everything

Body language is one of the best indicators of a prospective employee’s desire to work for a company. Exude confidence; this shows your interviewer that you believe in yourself. The right attitude assures an employer that you can lead a company into its next era of success. Show the interviewer that the company needs you and your skills more than anything. A firm handshake, direct eye contact, politeness, and even good posture will help your interviewer understand how serious you are about this opportunity and how much you will value the work. The more confident you look and feel, the more an employer can see that you are the most valuable candidate. Confidence is key, and the right attitude can help convey this.

Good luck!

About Erica L. Fener

Erica L. Fener, Ph.D., is Vice President, Business Development Strategy and Analysis at Progressus Therapy, a leading provider of school-based therapy and early intervention services.

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