As an early-career professional, it can be challenging to stand out in a crowded job market. While a well-crafted resume and cover letter are essential, they only tell part of your story. To truly amplify yourself and showcase your unique value, you need to go beyond the bullet points and highlight your skills, experience, and personality in a dynamic and engaging way. Here are a few ways to do that:
Create a professional online presence: Having a professional online presence is crucial in today's job market. Create a LinkedIn profile that showcases your skills, experience, and achievements. Make sure your profile is up-to-date, well-written, and includes a profile picture or even better, a profile video. Don't be afraid to share stories - your experience, what you’re geeking out on, what your dreams are, and more. You can also create a personal website or portfolio that highlights your work and accomplishments. Website builders like Squarespace, Wix, Canva can be a great starting point. You can also create video resumes with modern platforms like Heyo to personalize them even further with TikTok-style video resumes that highlight yourself.
Build a professional network: Networking is essential for finding job and internship opportunities. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with professionals in your field. Building a professional network will not only help you learn about potential job and internship opportunities, but it will also give you the opportunity to showcase your skills and experience to potential employers. Seek out like-minded people in communities on Slack, Discord, Facebook, and more. Some idea-starters include Ladies Get Paid, Product School, Rise to name a few.
Showcase your personality: Your resume and cover letter give a basic overview of your skills and experience, but they don't showcase your personality. Take advantage of opportunities to showcase your personality. Sharing more of your personality while still being professional can be done in a few ways: One way is to include a personal statement or summary on your resume or cover letter that highlights your unique skills, experience and personality.
Create a personal brand: Your personal brand is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that sets you apart from other candidates. Develop a personal brand statement that summarizes your unique value proposition, and use it consistently across your online presence, resume, and cover letter.
Leverage your skills and experience: Highlight the skills and experience you have gained through internships, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities. These experiences can demonstrate your ability to work in a team, manage projects, or solve problems, and make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.
Get endorsements and references: Endorsements and references from previous bosses, coworkers, and mentors can add credibility to your skills and experience. Ask your references to provide specific examples of your skills and achievements, and make sure they are easily accessible to potential employers. Even more powerful than a reference letter is a video testimonial, consider adding a video reference or shout-out. Here is an example of a powerful video testimonial that can boost your chances of standing out in a job search.
Tailor your resume and cover letter: Tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific job or internship you are applying for. This will show that you have done your research and understand the requirements of the position. Use keywords that are relevant to the job or internship, and highlight specific skills and experience that align with the position.
Follow up: After you apply for a job or internship, follow up with the employer. This can be done through an email or a phone call. This shows that you are interested in the position and that you are proactive.
Show your value: Highlight the value you can bring to the organization. This can be done by sharing specific examples of how your skills and experience can benefit the organization. Show the employer how you can help the organization achieve its goals.
By creating a professional online presence, building a professional network, showcasing your personality, creating a personal brand, leveraging your skills and experience, getting endorsements and references, tailoring your resume and cover letter, following up and showing your value, you can amplify yourself beyond just the bullet points of a resume and cover letter. It's all about standing out, being unique and showing your personality, skills, and experience that you can bring to the table. Think outside the box, on average an employer looks at a resume for 7 seconds, so help you help yourself and showcase all that you are in a more dynamic way than a traditional resume and cover letter.