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How To Stand Out In Your Job Search

Thomas DiRienzo
November 25, 2020
Last updated on
March 13, 2024

While 15% of adults across the globe are getting laid off because of the global pandemic, together with over 130 million people graduating from universities, the job market competition is becoming keen. Companies now get to cherry-pick the best candidates. To give your job searching efforts momentum, this blog will suggest aspects you may work on to genuinely increase your chance of getting hired within the coming months.


Networking looks at how one can use their connections to help them develop their careers. Your network consists of all the people that you interact with, including both professional contacts and casual acquaintances. Even the man next door who you haven’t spoken to in years or that boss you never really liked, they all come together and make up your network. A good network can provide you with information and even opportunities that may not have been accessible otherwise. This can be an extremely useful tool in your job hunt. According to CNBC, 70% of jobs aren’t displayed on job boards and that 50-80% of jobs are filled via networking. As seen from CNBC’s findings, a weak network can put you at a significant disadvantage compared to others with a stronger network. One way in which people have started to nurture their network is by utilizing LinkedIn.

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How to Build Up Your Network Using Linkedin

Linkedin has become the Facebook equivalent for professionals with desires to expand their networks. The online platform currently has over 760 million users who are using it to establish their professional, online presence. If you are new to LinkedIn and are looking for a quick guide to build up your network, start by following this checklist:

1) Create a LinkedIn account.
2) Optimise your LinkedIn account.(All-Star Profile)
3) Link your LinkedIn profile to your emails and resume.
4) Follow/connect with industry insiders.
5) Share other’s works that you appreciate
6) Comment on posts
7) Post work-related videos, pictures, articles and assignments that you are proud
8) Make yourself visible and attend events that you are interested in.
9) Build your groups & events.
10) Don’t be afraid to ask people questions or arrange a meet-up with people over
11) Utilize LinkedIn’s Job Search function.

Linkedin can not only be used as a valuable tool to establish and manage your network, it can also maximize your chances of getting a job. It was found by Forbes that people with All-Star profiles have a 71% more chance of getting interview invitations than people without an All-Star profile. As you may have already realized, Linkedin isn’t limited to network management, but also the developments of all areas of your career. So if you recently got laid off, it would be worthwhile to create an All-Star Linkedin account and spread it over your network to look for new opportunities.

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Just like how you would approach any challenging task, the first thing you should be doing in your job hunt is research. With research, you will be able to adequately prepare and plan out each of your job applications which will dramatically increase your likelihood for success. Once you have completed your research, you should know about these details of the job you are applying for:

  • Qualifications Required.
  • Responsibilities of the role.
  • How to optimize your CV for positions in the desired industry.
  • How to optimize your job application.
  • Types of interviews to prepare for.
  • Job application deadlines/opening dates.
  • Writing a tailored cover letter.
  • The types of people and quality of applications that you are competing against.

You should become a market expert in your desired industry before you even start applying for jobs. Don’t forget to make the most out of your network and ask the right questions to learn more about the market situation.

Preparation & Applying for Jobs

Put your research to use and start building up your perfect job search rituals. For example, optimizing your CV or tailoring each cover letter for different companies etc.

It would also be extremely useful to create a spreadsheet to track the progress of all of your current applications, including the openings and deadlines of future applications. Consider adding a section in this spreadsheet to compile all of your feedback from previous, unsuccessful applications to improve. While not all companies take the initiative to provide feedback, make sure you ask them for it proactively so that you could work on the next application.

To ensure your job applications are going to the right person, apply for positions on the company’s website instead of a job board. Some ads put on the job board are indeed published by freelance recruiters for roles that are not available yet. They could be hiring for a role that already has been filled when/if the current employee is planning to leave the company.

Never forget to use your network to your utmost advantage. One way to do this would be to send a short message to the hiring manager. By informing them that you have applied for the role, you get an additional chance to explain why you are the perfect candidate for the job.

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Stay Positive

Let’s face it, seeking a job is not easy. Glassdoor has found that on average, a job posting attracts 250 applications. Of the 250 applications only 4-6 people would be asked in for an interview while of course, only one of them would be offered the job. We understand that the odds might seem to be against you at the moment, but it is essential to gear up a positive mindset throughout this difficult period. Try to view this period as the beginning of the next chapter in your career path. Treat each job application as a practice and be grateful for how rejections could be trampolines into your dream job.

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