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Find Your Uniqueness in Today's Job Market
By Carole Martin, Interviewfitnesstraining.com

If you have been reading articles or listening to news reports about the job market, you realize that you are competing with a large pool of job seekers. The question is, "How can you make yourself stand out when there are so many other candidates looking at the same job?" The answer is to "focus" -- focus on what makes you unique.

Let's assume that you have an outstanding resume and that you make it to the top of the stack of resumes of people to be called for an interview. That is, you and maybe nine or ten other equally qualified people.

Because companies have so many candidates to choose from, they are interviewing more people so that they can select the "best." When you are lucky enough to be invited to an interview, it is essential that you be ready to sell yourself, to let the interviewers know what makes you unique, what added value you can bring to the position--in other words, why you are the best person for the job.

By doing some basic preparation, you can determine your uniqueness and where you should focus your attention. The first step in this process is to identify your five strengths. These strengths are the areas where you do very well.

What are your strengths? Think about previous performance appraisals - what was said or written about you? What would your co-workers or ex-bosses say about you?

List the skills and experiences you have that would be required in the type of job you are seeking.


Give some thought to those skills in which you excel, those that are referred to as the "soft skills." These skills can be viewed as transferable - you can take them with you to any job you hold.


Lastly, think of the personal traits that make you unique. Maybe you never miss deadlines, or perhaps you are willing to go above and beyond what is asked.
When you have identified your five strengths, make a list of those strengths and some examples of when those strengths have helped you achieve results on the job. It will be essential that you can not only identify your strengths, but that you also have examples and stories of times when you demonstrated those strengths in the past.

The next step is to look at the job postings and ads. When you have several postings, read each word and sentence carefully. What are they looking for? What words appear consistently in almost every posting?

Now, take a piece of paper and divide it in half. On one side of the paper write, "What they are looking for, " and on the other side, "What I have to offer." Each time you apply for a position, it will be invaluable for you to know how you stand against what they are looking for.

Your next step is to add your uniqueness to the "What I have to offer" list. Some postings will list additional skills required, which make it easier for you to see what is important to them. Some postings will be more vague about what it takes to get the job done and will require reading between the lines.

In summary, by narrowing your uniqueness to these five basic points, you can guide the conversation to include this information. By focusing on five strengths, you will be prepared with examples of times when you have used these strengths.

Carole Martin is a thoroughbred interview coach. Celebrated author, trainer, and mentor, Carole can give you interviewing tips like no one else can. Her workbook, "Interview Fitness Training - A Workout With the Interview Coach," has sold thousands of copies world-wide and she has just released her latest book, "Boost Your Interview IQ." Knock'em Dead - Get the Job!

 

 

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