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8 ways to stand out at work or during a job hunt

Imagine you see a job online that looks extremely appealing. You go ahead and click on the job and read the description and requirements.

You like what you see so you apply for the job role and get a phone call for an interview.

This is the same process many other candidates go through too, so what will set you apart from other candidates? Positive differentiation is essential to Personal Branding, so you have to think about what makes you stand out from the competition!

Here are 8 things that will help you stand out:

1.   Having a strong online profile

In the most part I am referring to having an evolved online profile on LinkedIn here, because that is the first point of reference for most employers checking you out online.

So make sure you profile is representative of who you are, what you do and how you add value with endorsements from others. You can look at how to optimise your profile here.

But you also need to investigate what else is online about you, so type your name into a search engine and see what comes up. If it doesn’t add value, if it detracts from your personal brand, if it is potentially destructive then you need to do some work to remove anything negative.

That doesn’t mean you cannot have other social media accounts that show another side to you, a more personal side – just think about how that side is perceived to the world at large.

2. Positive mindset

This is an extremely positive quality to have when starting a new job and maintaining a job. Sometimes you will find yourself having an extremely bad and stressful day at work, but this is where your positive mindset will come into play.

Your potential employer wants to see that you demonstrate you can always find the good in all situations, ensuring that you put yourself in a good mood and uplift those around you.

By having a positive mindset, you will also be able to motivate others and will be open to tackling the more difficult tasks with a positive attitude.

By showing you have a positive attitude throughout the interview process, you are showing you are also enthusiastic about the job.

If you are asked to provide an example about your positive mindset, you want to highlight a time when you showed an extremely positive mindset when other people didn’t.

3. Having a strong work ethic

Having a positive attitude ties in with having a strong work ethic. You start a new job, you’re excited to begin and work in a new environment with new people all around you.

But as time goes by you find yourself finding loopholes: turning up to work a little later than usual or not putting in as much effort in your work as you did in the beginning.

This is not the right attitude! However, this is very common so in order for you to really stand out you need to demonstrate to your potential employer that you are consistent in the work you deliver and your attitude you bring to the working environment.

In the interview this can be done by providing examples of situations you went that extra mile and emphasise that you have done this in all the job roles you have previously had. But you want to be realistic, at the end of the day we are not robots.

We all have our days, so you don’t want to come across like you are showing off and bragging about all the extra work you did in the office.

Find a middle ground, showing you are motivated in the working environment and simple examples to prove it.

4. Being curious

As well as knowing the job role inside and out and recognising the expectations, you don’t want to be a miss (or mr) know-it-all. What will make you stand out is having a genuine interest in the job and being open to learning more things as you go along.

You want to show that you are always striving to pick up new skills and attend the necessary meetings to grow as a person and to further contribute to your work.

If you leave the job in the exact same position as you started, that shows you were not curious and genuinely interested in the job as you have not made progress from the start.

So, you want to show to employers a time where you strived for success and how you changed throughout the duration of your work experiences. This will show you are motivated and willing to learn, which are the required characteristics needed.

5. Be a risk taker

Why is it important to demonstrate that you are a risk taker? It is because it shows that you are not afraid to make mistakes or failure.

It shows that even if you do make mistakes (which you most definitely will) you will turn those mistakes into lessons and avoid making the same mistake again in the future.

You want to demonstrate a time when something went wrong, and you made a huge mistake now what makes you stand out against others is how did you handle the situation?

You want to show that you were able to accept the mistakes you made but then turned the whole situation around and made it into something you learned from.

This demonstrates an extremely positive attitude and shows you are able to handle working under pressure and accepting when things do ultimately go wrong.

Making mistakes is an excellent way to grow as a person and helps you in the long run in becoming even more successful. So show this off to your potential employers!

6. Passion

Show you are passionate about the job you are applying for (or the job you have)! This is not only in the job interview process but right from the start. This includes showing passion through your CV and especially your cover letter if you are required to submit one.

You want your future employer to recognise your passion immediately and be drawn into getting to know you further. Those that are successful in their jobs enjoy their jobs a lot!

During the interview you can provide an example of a particular time you found your passion coming across a lot in a particular project, presentation or even an ordinary day at the office.

If you are excited about the job role you will show this through the way you speak to your interviewer and your eagerness to begin working.

With passion, it cannot be taught so you want to find that inner passion for your job role and demonstrate it from the beginning of the process and throughout your job career. 

7. Being a good team member

Being a good team member is always an important quality to have. Every job you have you will find yourself working with others, no matter how big or small the group is.

So, what makes you stand out against other candidates is that you are able to work in a team well, by contributing your ideas as well as being an excellent listener and making sure all team members are involved in the conversation or project.

You want to share with your potential employer that you have successfully worked in a team and you have been able to handle all different types of personalities.

You always want to show off that when you work in a team you motivate those around you so you all achieve the company goals by being productive and efficient.

It is easy to say you are a good team member but providing specific situations will help you stand out amongst others. An example scenario could be how did you maintain being a good team member when others around you were lazy or being rude.

This is where you can demonstrate how you stayed committed to the group, maintaining a positive mindset and trying to come to a middle ground with those in the group with you.

8.   Empathise

Showing you are able to empathise with those around you is a great quality to have and demonstrate to potential employers.

This is because it shows that when something does go wrong at work, you are able to relate to people and see how they are feeling about a situation.

You want to show that you can identify pain points and challenges in a situation successfully, which allows you to build relationships and establish trust.

You can provide an example of a time you were in a situation whereby a customer was unsatisfied and how you empathised with them and helped them leave the environment feeling positive, resolving the problem.

This will also show that you are trustworthy and human! We all go through a range of emotions every day, so you are demonstrating that you accept others that may be unhappy around you, but you ensure that you solve the problem and make them feel comfortable explaining their situation.

So, there you have it, 8 ways you can stand out against all the other candidates fighting for that same job.

Even in your current job, with potential redundancies looming you may need to fight for your own position.

It is time to be better prepared for an uncertain future. Just remember: you want to demonstrate that you are determined, hardworking, passionate and eager about the job.

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