It's easy to limit your job search to an online routine: looking at job posting sites, applying and then doing the same thing the next day.
But if you're really hoping to find your dream job, you'll want to get more creative. Making key connections and knowing the right the interview strategies could fast-track your search.
Here are four tips to ensure that you're the candidate who stands out:
Having someone share career advice or insight about a company can clue you into new opportunities or ways to get ahead. And a well-crafted LinkedIn message is a great way to start.
In order to get a reply from someone, your message on the professional networking site should reference something specific about the person's profile, such as their background or recent work. It should also explain why you're reaching out, according to Emily Liou of The Muse.
"If you're actively seeking a new position and are wanting to connect," Liou writes, "it makes a huge difference if you can share in a couple of sentences what you're looking for and a glimpse of what you bring to the table."
When meeting someone new, most people start off their conversation with the question, "So, what do you do?" It's a question that's both common and expected.
If you want to make an impression on someone, don't be afraid to go off-script.
Try asking a more interesting question such as, "What are you most excited about at the moment?" or "What's the next big thing you have coming up?" suggests The Muse writer Biron Clark, borrowing from his colleague Andrew Horn.
The fun, unexpected question will likely start an interesting conversation, instantly making you more memorable. Plus, you'll have something specific to bring up the next time you speak.
After you meet someone, whether it's at a dinner party or for an informational interview, be sure to send an email thanking them within 24 hours.
The gesture shows you are professional and respectful of their time. It also helps you solidify your professional relationship, CNBC Make It's Abigail Hess reports.
But don't just fire off a standard "thank you" email. To make the message count, you need to make it personal, email expert Danny Rubin says. Reference something they said or share an interesting thing you learned from the conversation, Rubin writes in "Wait, How Do I Write This Email? "
When you're applying for a job, chances are you'll be competing against internal candidates.
To stand out from those who may have more experience within the company, emphasize your existing skills and your ability to learn quickly says Jillian Kramer, writer at Glassdoor.
For example, think about how you would spend the first three months of your job and how you'd go about getting up to speed. Then share those details in your interview.
And as always, make sure your responses focus on how your precise set of experiences make you the best person for the job.
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