How to Instantly Become a Competitive CandidateNov 11, 2023
Read time: 5 minutes
In a competitive job market, standing out is key. Are you maximizing your unique strengths to become a top-tier candidate?
Today, I'm going to guide you through an exercise to boost your competitiveness, focusing on targeting companies that value your unique background.
You have knowledge and experience that companies want and value in their employees, but the truth is that not all companies value that experience equally.
Instead of casting a wide net and just applying to open roles you see on LinkedIn or other job boards, consider developing a strategy to focus on companies who appreciate your unique background.
Consider Lindsay's story:
Lindsay is a former teacher who landed a Curriculum Advisor (Sales Engineer) role for an EdTech company 6 months ago.
Instead of preparing lesson plans for students like she used to as a teacher, she now prepares lesson plans and demonstrations for teachers, selling curriculum.
As a former teacher, she’s able to resonate with her prospects and speak to what they care about (she's been in their shoes).
Her knowledge of education and understanding of what it’s like to be a teacher helps her be more effective at her job. This is precisely what hiring managers want: someone who can ramp up and contribute quickly.
Lindsay pursued other roles at other companies, but by primarily targeting EdTech companies in her job search, she increased her competitiveness as a candidate and landed her dream job!
She targeted companies that valued and wanted to leverage her experience in education.
Whether you’re a career changer like Lindsay or have 30+ years of experience in Tech, targeting companies who value YOUR unique background will increase your competitiveness tenfold.
For every open role, there's a surplus of candidates applying, but not all of those candidates have (1) prior experience in the role or (2) the specific industry, technology, or field expertise relevant to the role.
You have a competitive advantage if you have one or both of these.
Here's what you can do today to increase your competitiveness:
1. Identify Your Unique Value 💎
- Industry-Specific Knowledge: Pinpoint your specialized skills, such as healthcare management or technology implementation in healthcare.
- Field Expertise: Consider your proficiency in areas like Human Resources, shaped by your experiences, education, and training.
- Technology Proficiency: Reflect on the types of technologies you've utilized or sold, considering how this expertise could be valuable to other employers.
2. Target the Right Companies 🎯
- Focus on companies where your unique skills and background are most valued, such as competitors of past employers, companies using technologies you’re familiar with, or those in industries you’ve specialized in.
- Use platforms like Capterra and G2 to identify organizations that align with your expertise. For instance, if you have a marketing background, look into MarTech companies.
3. Apply and Network Strategically 🔍
- Utilize LinkedIn to connect with people at your target companies. Search "[Target Role]" AND "[Company]" and reach out with a thoughtful, personalized message.
- Take a proactive approach and include companies that may not have current openings but are likely to in the near future. By building connections now, you're planting seeds for the future and can position yourself as a prime candidate when opportunities open up.
- Apply to roles at your target companies within 24 hours of the role being posted, and send a personalized message to the hiring manager, clearly communicating how your unique skills and experiences will add value to the team and organization.
By targeting companies that appreciate your unique background, you don't just increase your chances; you make yourself a sought-after candidate in a competitive landscape. This focused approach can make a world of difference in your job search.
- It's a competitive job market - you need to increase your competitiveness as a candidate to get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters.
- One of the most efficient ways to stand out is to pursue companies that value your unique background. Figure out what that value is and how it can be your competitive edge.
- Find and target companies that appreciate your background, strategically network with individuals in your target role, and apply to open roles.
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- Job Accelerator Program: This comprehensive program gives you the step-by-step roadmap and live coaching that has helped hundreds of people land six-figure jobs quickly.
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