7 ways to present yourself well to potential employers
If you are currently job seeking there are many tips you can employ to make yourself stand out to potential employees. Presenting the best version of yourself is essential to getting and keeping the job you desire in the industry you are aiming for.
The job market can be every competitive and honing the essential skills in self-presentation can help set you above the other candidates. Here are 7 essential tips to enhance the way you present yourself to potential employees. Which of these do you need to work on?
- 1. Your resume and written documents
Everyone who is job seeking should have a current resume. The length, style and format of this document will depend on the industry you are aiming for. For many jobs, a single page should be enough, often with a tagline at the bottom of the document letting the reader know that more information can be provided if they need it.
LinkedIn is also a good resource for your resume. This is a free website (with paid options available for more features) where you can have a longer version of your resume, ready to be viewed by potential employers. Ask friends within industry to help you with formatting. Sometimes looking at what your peers are doing can be a great way to start.
- 2. Filming a video resume
Some HR services online give you the option of filming a video resume. This is a cutting-edge way to present the ‘real’ you to people who may be able to give you a job. An online video resume is a great way for employers to see how you speak, your personal energy and your mood and vibe.
Or make your own using Vimeo and YouTube.
- 3. Your elevator pitch
A good thing to have prepared is your “elevator pitch”. This is a concept that’s familiar to most professionals. Basically – imagine that you find yourself in an elevator with someone who is able to give you a job – your dream job. You have exactly 60 seconds to pitch yourself, your ideas and your personality to them, in order to get the role.
What would you say about yourself? You can’t go into lengthy explanations or show them your resume or portfolio. This is where you hone down your 10 top skills into a concise format – focusing on your most relevant qualifications first. For tips on perfecting your elevator pitch, see this article from Forbes.
- 4. Your look
Although this is not a fashion parade, it is true that, “clothes maketh the man.” At the very minimum, you want your clothes and personal presentation to display a neutral persona. Think about it – if your clothes, hair, jewellery or grooming is unconventional, this could be taking the focus from your skills and personal qualities.
If you were an employer, what would you look for in an employee? There is no harm in looking ‘cool’ and ‘fashionable’ so long as your whole outfit is appropriate, and displays a respectful image. Let your personality shine through, but don’t let it be a distraction.
- 5. Your experience
You have done so much in your life, but have you taken the time to think about how this could look on a resume? You may have been a ‘checkout operator’ at Woolworths, so you need to think of how this should appear on your resume. In fact, you were a ‘customer service representative’ for a ‘major Australian retail brand’. This is not dishonest, it is simply thinking about how your current skills should translate to a resume format. Don’t downplay your achievements, talk them up.
Make the most of what you’ve done. Think of everything you are currently doing, including community work, family commitments, volunteer work and hobbies. How can this information be highlighted on your resume?
- 6. Contacts and networking
Who you know can be as essential as what you know. Consider who in your extended network might be able to help you in your search. There is one thing that is common to most people – we all love giving advice. Asking to meet with someone you might be able to network with can be an essential career-progression tool.
Simply ask to buy them a coffee or to come to their next work presentation. Often this can be a great way to learn more about the area of business you are hoping to get into. At the very least, you should be able to ask questions and get advice on an informal scale.
- 7. Keeping momentum
An easy trap to fall into is to lose momentum with your job seeking. Often all it takes is one or two knock backs to shatter your confidence and make us feel that there is little hope for career progression. Keep trying and don’t stop working, even if it means continuing to send out applications and researching roles and industries.
Good things come to those who wait but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t try. Even if things seem difficult, keep on trying to reach your goals. Job seeking is not always easy – often it can take weeks or months to find a suitable position. However, if you’ve been getting nowhere on a certain track for more than six months – be aware that it might be time to take a different approach.
Any tips I have missed? Let me know!