This weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking on the “Stand Out in the Crowd” panel at the YP Empowerment Conference in Memphis, Tennessee.
Led by Austin Baker, other panelists included Cedric Brooks, Latosha Dexter, and Adrian Davis.
The purpose of the panel was to discuss what may distinguish you in your career. What will make you stand out from the crowd? What will separate you from the hundreds of candidates who apply for a job?
Below are a few of the key takeaways from the discussion:
- Personal Brand: It’s important to consider the characteristics that you’d like to represent yourself, and your personal brand. Which are the most important to you? For example, you may want to focus on being authentic and honest, on being a hard worker, on being a problem solver, or on having a positive attitude.
- Social Media: You should carefully consider what you share on social media. Think of sharing on social media like you would think of a dinner party. You don’t know who may read your social media, so keep political, religious, and other possibly distracting views at a minimum while you’re job searching. Alternatively, increase your privacy settings, so only friends can see your posts.
- LinkedIn: Always keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. LinkedIn can be a great place for recruiters and companies to FIND YOU. But, they will only reach out if your LinkedIn profile shares enough information to paint a picture about your expertise and the hard worker you are.
- What to Wear: Dress for success. It’s important to know your audience. Keep your interview outfit professional looking and minimize distractions, such as loud colors and big jewelry. If you want to bring out your character, consider doing it in subtle ways, like your socks!
- Excitement: It’s great to bring a certain level of enthusiasm with you to interviews. But, keep in mind that being too eager can scare potential employers away. Think of interviewing like dating and try to match the energy level of your interviewer.
- Fitting In: No doubt, there will be times in your career when you stand out in not the best way. Maybe you’re the only woman or man on your team. Maybe your skills are different than everyone else. Whatever it is that makes you stick out, it’s important to do the work to get to know those around you. Although you shouldn’t have to bend (in theory), taking the time to connect and find common ground can help you in the long run.
- Community Involvement: Non-profit boards can be a great way to get involved in your local community. They can also help you to boost your career. But, before you commit to another board, consider a few questions. Does this organization align to my personal values and career interests? What are the duties, and financial commitments required for this board? Am I able to fully commit to this board and these responsibilities?
As you can see, there are many different components to standing out in a crowd. Take your time and focus on one or two areas at a time. Select mentors and others to model your success after. Set goals, and constantly check in with yourself to stay on target.
I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.
Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes. Thanks.
Author: Angela Copeland
Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.