Stand Out and Get That Job | Ep #63
Do you go on a job interview and never hear back? Struggling with writing a resume and cover letter that will get seen? Thinking about putting feelers out to find a new career? If you are ready to start over with a new job or a new career, then listen up! On Episode #63 of the Second Act Success Podcast, I will be giving you resume tips, cover letter ideas, and advice on how to win at your next job interview. These strategies will help you stand out and land that job! Join me, Career Coach, Shannon Russell for an episode all about standing out amongst the sea of resumes and how to interview like a pro. Let’s dive in!
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Second Act Success Podcast
Season 1 - Stand Out and Get That Job | Ep #63
Host: Shannon Russell
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)
[00:00:00] Shannon Russell: If you are on a job hunt or thinking about putting feelers out to find something new, then listen up. Today on the podcast, I will be giving you some tips on how to stand out to get that job.
[00:01:10] Shannon Russell: Welcome back to the Second Act Success Podcast. I am your host career coach Shannon Russell.
I am so pumped to be in your ear today to talk about standing out while looking for a new job. All right, my friend, are you getting that edge to try something new? Maybe you're comfortable where you are now, but you'd like to see what other opportunities are out there. Maybe you've been actively networking or going on interviews, but nothing has progressed past the initial meeting. Or maybe you have been applying to jobs with little to no success.
We can all relate to spending hours customizing cover letters and sending resumes. Out into the abyss, just hoping for some human reaction of any kind. Let's be real is sending a quick email saying, I'm sorry, but we're going in a different direction, really? That [00:02:00] hard. For some companies, it seems like it is.
Well, if you're on the lookout for what is outside of your office walls? And the competition feels overwhelming. You are not alone. It can be difficult to make your application stand out in a sea of resumes. Fortunately, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to share.
[00:02:20] Shannon Russell: The first tip, do your research.
Before you start applying, know what you want to do and who you will be contacting. Find out as much as you can about the company and the specific role that you are applying for. You may be dreaming about working at a particular company, but what is the role that you are sending your resume in for? Once you know, everything that you can, and I'm talking any insight details from press articles or fun facts about the company. Then you can tailor your resume and cover letter to that job and make sure that you highlight who you are, so that your skills and your experience shines through.
[00:02:59] Shannon Russell: [00:03:00] Additionally, you can use that research to craft a unique and compelling introduction in your cover letter. If you know, someone who works at the company, don't be afraid to drop their name. You never know. This could help you stand out. That hiring manager can then go to that person and say, hey, someone who's applying for this role mentioned that they know you, that they went to school with you, that you're a friend of a friend. What do you know about them? So don't be afraid to put that connection out there. That connection is going to get you one step further.
[00:03:32] Shannon Russell: don't be humble. Highlight any pertinent qualifications or certifications that are required. And if you have others that are not on the list of requirements for that role, throw them in there too. It's important to show you as a whole person, someone who can add to the team in more ways than they even know that they want. Plus listing these skills will help you stand out from other applicants who have not done their due diligence before applying.[00:04:00]
[00:04:01] Shannon Russell: Through your resume cover letter and when meaning in-person or virtually for an interview, be yourself. And remember to be genuine. We all feel the pressure of wanting to make ourselves fit into what we think that the hiring manager wants. remember that someone wrote a formal job posting, but they want more than just what's listed next to those bullet points. Sometimes someone in human resources wrote that job posting, they won't even be working with you. One-on-one so keep in mind that the bullet points of what they are requiring or suggesting for a role may not even be what that hiring manager truly needs. So it's important for you to be genuine, honest, and really portray what you can offer to that role. That's outside of what's listed because you will be working one-on-one with a team one-on-one with a manager, someone's separate from that HR exact that wrote that posting.
[00:04:59] Shannon Russell: show [00:05:00] off your unique strengths, your personality, and even more importantly, your enthusiasm. Be enthusiastic about the role be excited that you are even having the chance to apply for this role demonstrate that you offer more, you are unique and you are, you. And however you can express this during any touch point of the interview process, you will get that much further. Just stay honest. And genuine and show how excited you are to be a part of that team, to be a part of that company. And to add to the role in a way that they might not even know that they need.
[00:05:38] Shannon Russell:
[00:06:04] Shannon Russell: Once you have spent time researching and perfecting your resume and your cover letter and the application. The hard part is done. Right. , because you've done that work, you've put everything in and those are the action items that you needed to take to just get in the door. Once you're in that door for the interview. That's when you turn it on, that is when it's your time to show up and show off. So here's how you can wow. Them when you are in person or virtually in an interview. You will want to take all of that research, all of that knowledge about the role, all of that knowledge about the company and turn it into words spoken, or is that you can show the hiring manager that you are meaning with. These words will show how you can add to the culture of the team. Yes, you can do everything that's listed. Yes, you're qualified. Yes. You can check off all those boxes of the qualifications that they are looking [00:07:00] for. But more importantly, you are going to be able to add to the culture of the team. You are going to bring skills. Enthusiasm, excitement and personality. To add to the team, to add to the culture, to give this company more than they even knew that they wanted.
[00:07:19] Shannon Russell: what experience do you have that will fill that missing piece for the team? What can you add that? No one else can. I have a good answer of why you are searching to. think about what sets you apart. What have you done in your past roles that can really add to this? What is something outside of the box? That is a great conversation starter. Have these ideas have these talking points ready to go in your back pocket so that when you're in a conversation in an interview process like this, it can be more conversational and you can add and really make that person that you're talking with. Sit back and go. Wow. That's a really interesting story that I'm going to remember. So have those little [00:08:00] stories and antidotes ready to go.
[00:08:03] Shannon Russell: Also have a good answer for why you are searching. Why are you looking for a new role? And why do you want to be here at this company? What is it about your current role or your previous role that makes you want to try something new to try something different? Of course, the hiring manager is going to ask, why are you looking for a new position or why did you leave your last role? Be prepared and be honest. They will most likely appreciate any lessons that you learned along the way. So If you had a stumble or you had a fail, explain that, explain what happened and what you learned from it. This is where the honesty and the really, truly being genuine part of you is going to come out and set you apart. A lot of times we get into interviews or we get into business conversations and we start speaking like robots. We are clearly just saying what we think they want to hear. And I think we need to change that narrative and start talking about who we are [00:09:00] and how we can add to the piece and really bring our personalities through, rather than just saying what we think we should be saying. Anticipate questions, like how did you grow from past experiences? What was missing in your last job? Any mistakes that you may have made that brought you to want this new role,
[00:09:20] Shannon Russell: another topic to mention is that while it's key to bring your bubbly personality to the interview, Let's keep in mind that many interviews are still being done remotely. This can sometimes make it harder to shine and to show off your stuff over zoom. So think about the background. What are you wearing from the waist up and how do you own this conversation from the comfort of your home? Try to spend some time really thinking about what's in your background. You might be a wine lover and you might have some wine bottles in the back that might not be the best type of background. You might be a mom and you've got pictures of your kids in the background. And depending on the job, [00:10:00] that might be great to show that you're a family person, but for other jobs, You might want to move that just for the interview, keeping a clean background with colors, something that can show your personality is wonderful, but also remember to stand out. So while you're sitting there, maybe at a bright color, something different, it's going to. Help keep you top of mind when they're thinking back on who they met with that day. So think about your background, what you're wearing from the waist up and how you can own this conversation from the comfort of your home.
[00:10:31] Shannon Russell: You want to show off your passion for this role and how you'll be willing to take everything that you've learned in the past to apply it to this industry. Don't be afraid to name, drop big projects or accomplishments or successes from the past. Whenever you can and demonstrate how excited you are to continue these wins with them. The more, you can verbally explain your resume, your accomplishments, your experience, your past, the more they will truly see the picture, your [00:11:00] resume, your cover letter, your application, your LinkedIn profile. Those only show so much. They are 2d. They are flat, they were in front of us, but when you're able to speak and show them who you are. That goes thousand percent further.
[00:11:16] Shannon Russell: finally, let's talk about the follow-up. I know it's easy to hit, send and forget. But I'm begging you don't do this. Trust me, there are so much power in the follow-up. I have hired for huge teams in production when I worked in television and I currently hire for my teams in both of my businesses. So I've been through the interviewing process on both sides. When someone sends a resume if I don't get to them because I'm busy and I know I should reply it might not mean that I'm not interested in them. It might mean that I'm busy on the day to day. So that follow-up is a reminder that a hiring manager that a boss. He needs to make you really stand out. It can be something as [00:12:00] simple as the resume or the application just getting lost in your inbox. So think of that followup as a one more flag, one more chance to be seen. And honestly it shows how much you want that position. I personally have always been someone who hires. A person. Who wants the job, who is a true person, someone who I want to work alongside of, and someone who is a team member, someone who wants to work and wants to be a part of what you created. And really showing that in any way that you can makes you stand out. Trust me, you want to follow up after sending a resume online? And you want to follow up after an in-person or remote interview as well. Following up, however you can in a polite and professional way is key. People may feel that this is overdoing it or being pushy, but it's not just think about how many emails you have in your inbox right now. [00:13:00] Or how many texts or voicemails you have yet to reply to on your phone? We're all guilty of it. So it's easy for something to get lost. It is completely okay to follow up. It will show that you are interested in invested in this position. And here's a pro tip. No one makes phone calls anymore. So pick up the phone and call with a thank you. This will make you stand out and you never know, you just may have a promising conversation with someone on the phone who can steer you in the right direction.
[00:13:35] Shannon Russell: All right. So in conclusion, Be prepared, be knowledgeable in, be enthusiastic. Remember you have value. You can add to their team. And that is what the employer wants. Employers don't want to just fill that spot of the last person who left that role. They want someone who wants to be there. Hiring is hard. It's time consuming and it's [00:14:00] expensive. Think of it this way, this company, this hiring manager, these employers, they want someone who wants to add value and leave a mark on this position. They want someone who's going to come in and add to this position, add to the company, bring in revenue, get more customers, more clients. They want someone who's going to teach them how to do the role even better. If you can convey that you intend to bring all that you have to this role, then you, my friend have a fighting chance of truly standing out and landing this position.
Stay strong, confident, and be sure of yourself. Wipe away the stress and look at job searching as a challenge. How can you show yourself off to the best of your ability? And when this position it's a game, right? You're applying to something you're hoping to get in front of them and you're hoping to win.
You hold the power and you create your destiny. So do not give up, just focus on your why and focus on the [00:15:00] awesome person that you are. And go get that job.
For more career advice, be sure to subscribe to the Second Act Success Podcast. And if you found this valuable, please leave us a five star rating and a review. It means so much. Thank you for spending some of your day with me today, my friend.
I'll catch you on the next episode of Second Act Success.