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How to Stand Out and Land your Next Job

6 months ago by Deborah Melina Arlanda

Tips and tricks to get you going in your career development.

In a competitive job market, you need the right combination of technical and soft skills to outshine other candidates and land the right opportunity for your next professional development. It's important to develop your own personal brand and learn about different strategies you can employ to stand out from the crowd. In this article, we are going to discuss some tactics that would help you grasp the attention of your future employer.

Prepare a good resume to avoid having it swept under a pile of potential candidates

One trick is to use keywords throughout your resume.  Keywords represent descriptors of your skills and attributes that are typically used to describe themselves and others in the profession. It matters when someone is reviewing your CV as it helps in identifying whether your skills match the open remote or in-office job. The better your resume matches the job requirements, the higher you’ll rank as a candidate for a hiring manager.
To help you get to the front line, write a list of keywords to whittle down your long list of experiences to the ones that are relevant to the hiring manager. This shows them that you are speaking the same language as you use similar terminology to highlight your experience, skills, and qualifications. Other important points that you must include in your CV are:

  • A professional summary: Write a good and concise description at the top of your resume. You can write about career highlights and other personal strengths, but keep this statement a few sentences long at most.

  • A skills section underneath your personal profile: Make sure the skills you choose to include in your CV are relevant to the job you are applying for. Whatever role you apply to, amend this list accordingly.

  • Experience/Employment History: Begin your employment history section with your latest experience first until your earliest jobs experience. List your responsibilities as bullet points and not in paragraphs, so it does not read like an essay. When writing your responsibilities, begin your topic sentence with strong and active verbs, for example, “Successfully integrated project campaigns within a designated timeframe.”

  • Education: Organise your education section similar to the employment history, writing your latest qualifications before earlier ones. There is less need to get into detail in this section, as hiring managers often skim through to search that you’ve obtained the necessary qualifications for a job in Malta or beyond.

Can’t remember the last time you’d attended a job interview?

When the 'tell me about yourself' question arises in a job interview, you engage in a five-minute monologue that details your most recent projects but fail to connect the dots as to why those experiences are relevant.

One of the best ways to succeed in your job interview is to make sure that you're fully prepared by researching about the company as well as the position you're applying to beforehand. Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer, so you'll be ready when they ask if you have any questions. Practice your answers in your own time.

Do ask that one challenging question to the interviewers. That shows you’re actively engaged in conversation when they explain their current pain points, or even give them food for thought to consider new ways of working based on your ongoing discussion.

A good reference goes a long way

It’s always important to be prepared with a list of references, including the names of previous employers as well as co-workers you’ve worked with closely. You want these individuals to attest to your skill level and work ethic, and this remains a quality hiring managers scout for.

Maintaining social capital through networking

Even though your experience and education might help you shine in a competitive job market, networking can also play a large role in helping you find your dream in-office or work from home job. Never hesitate to attend networking events and engage in conversation with others. After attending such events, stay in contact with the people you connect with the most. It is worth touching base occasionally, even when you are not actively looking for a new job.

What to do when you don’t get the job you were aiming for​

Understand the situation and the hiring manager’s perspective.

Rejecting people is not a piece of cake. Let the employer know that you understand their final decision, and thank them for considering you for the role nonetheless. You never know, this same person might call you up when they have a different opening they feel you might be a better fit for. That’s why it’s important to be thankful, positive, and supportive, even though you didn’t receive the offer.

Seek professional advice where needed.

If you thought you could do better at an interview, don’t hesitate to ask hiring managers questions, including: “How can I be a better fit for opportunities such as this?”, or “What do I need in order to earn opportunities like this one at your company?”. If you can find out what you need to do in order to tick all the boxes, then you’ll make your candidacy more attractive in the event another opportunity opens up.

Develop your career through upskilling. 

Explore skill sets that would help give you an edge for your target job and determine how you can achieve them. For example, you can look into certificate programs, online courses, workshops, free webinars and video tutorials, or professional clubs. Even if you are currently unemployed, this is a proactive approach to stay up to date with the latest work trends and nowadays, digital skills.  

When it comes to seeking your next job, there are numerous ways you can better prepare for the process generally, including preparing your CV sufficiently and getting ahead in the interview process. There will be times when you will not succeed in achieving a new role, but when the going gets rough, it’s still important to maintain a positive attitude, learn from the experience, and look ahead for the next one.