As we brave the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and all its ripple effects, I have been told by tons of my clients and job seekers alike that there are thousands of applicants to every single job posting. In fact, the number of applicants just keeps growing by the day. My community has been worried about what to do, so I want to share my top 3 strategies to help job seekers stand out in 2020. I’m having my clients implement these strategies right now so that they can make sure as they progress through this job search, no matter what the economy looks like, they are positioning themselves as a top candidate. I’m happy to report that these strategies are working, so stick around through this article or check out the video below as I share with you three strategies you can implement right now.
My Top 3 Strategies to Help Job Seekers Stand Out in 2020
Strategy #1: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
First, you’ll need to optimize your LinkedIn profile. If you have been following me for any amount of time, you know that I always emphasize the fact that your LinkedIn is more important than your resume. I really strongly believe this to be true because LinkedIn allows you to be searched and found. I have a client right now who just updated her LinkedIn profile following my specific strategies, rehauled everything from top to bottom, and got two messages from hiring managers asking her to interview within a week. So if your LinkedIn profile isn’t optimized, you can’t get those types of InMail messages because you’re not being found during those search results for those specific skillsets.
Your LinkedIn profile is your personal brand and allows people to learn a lot about you with just a glance. When a recruiter or hiring manager comes across your resume, they’re going to get curious and Google your name. LinkedIn is going to be one of the top search results because their search engine optimization is so strong. When someone inevitably clicks on your LinkedIn profile, you want to make sure that really represents who you are as an employee, what it is you can do, how you do it, and really showcases your personality to go with that as well.
If you need help revamping your profile, be sure to watch my free YouTube video on how to create a LinkedIn profile optimized for job searching. My job search programs also include dedicated LinkedIn training, profile audits, and revision guidelines. If you’re interested in customized support, you can learn more here.
Strategy #2: Create Original LinkedIn Content
Now that you have an optimized LinkedIn profile, one area of opportunity I see so many job seekers leave off the table is actually creating original LinkedIn articles and content. The reason why this is important is because again, going with the algorithms, LinkedIn really rewards people who have complete profiles and one of the profile sections is creating articles. So if you’re not writing articles or posting any content, that tells LinkedIn that maybe you’re not as involved or as active as somebody else who is posting content. So naturally, the person who’s writing articles is going to be ranking higher in those search results.
Another nice thing about LinkedIn articles is that they sit on your LinkedIn profile. So if I’m a hiring manager who lands on your profile, I can see what you’ve written. This really demonstrates that whatever you’re writing about is a topic that you have expertise in, that you’re credible in, or that you’re really passionate about. Keep in mind, you don’t have to be an expert to write an article. Anybody can write an article! Even if you’re moving into an entry-level position, you can still write an article about how you’re learning about that particular topic. So, for instance, if you’re moving into marketing for the first time and you don’t have any formal marketing experience but perhaps you’ve been to a marketing event, you could share an article about the top three things you learned at that marketing event.
The whole point is that you’re showcasing that you’re really passionate about your field because it’s not enough to just tell an interviewer you’re passionate about something when you have nothing to show for it on your profile. And other candidates are writing those articles where they’re really demonstrating what they know about that field. So just remember, you don’t need to be an expert. You just need to share your perspective, your angle, and the experience that you’re building upon.
Strategy #3: Reach Out Directly to Hiring Managers
Now that you have an optimized profile and have established yourself as an active, passionate candidate, it’s time for the final strategy, which is to reach out directly to hiring managers. Everybody who follows me knows that I have a golden solution message that basically allows you to send a message to a hiring manager without feeling awkward, sleazy, or like a burden because you’re actually offering a solution to the problem. The reason why I say this isn’t more important than ever is that with these jobs getting thousands of applications right now as unemployment rates spike, you need to make sure you’re being seen.
Trust me when I say there are not very many candidates who are reaching out directly to hiring managers, so this is a really great way to set yourself apart as somebody who’s proactive. Plus, people who do send messages to hiring managers are typically not doing it in the best way. Usually, they’ll ask for a job or a connection without putting much thought into what they have to offer, which is what we want to avoid. But when you send a solution message to hiring managers, you’re building that relationship and rapport. The solution message shows you’ve done your research, you know what the company is about and you know how to concisely state who you are and what you do in a paragraph and capture their attention.
The whole point behind this message is to spark their interest enough for them to take a look at your LinkedIn profile. And since you’ve spent the time optimizing your profile and establishing yourself with original content, they’re naturally going to get curious and call you in for an interview. So that’s kind of my three-step framework that I’m having my clients go through right now. It is working so well in terms of generating interviews, getting connections and relationships built. It’s the perfect time to do this as companies are actually slowing down a little bit, which is nice because that means hiring managers have more headspace to have these conversations. People are more willing to have informational interviews and so forth. So I highly recommend you get started on this three-step framework today!