Whether you are a new graduate or a late-career professional, navigating the current job market can be intimidating. With massive layoffs and unprecedented unemployment rates, the economic downturn has left millions in search of new professional opportunities.

If you find yourself struggling to differentiate from the masses, here are 3 tips to help you stand out and land your next dream job:

Take the time to learn a new skill.

As more workers reenter the job market, it is important to show potential employers you have the necessary skills to succeed in the role. If your desired position requires you to be highly skilled in an area outside of your expertise, utilize free online course platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, or Harvard Extension. From coding to business communication to social media marketing, online courses are a way to broaden your knowledge-base while showing hiring managers you can take initiative, adapt, and grow amidst uncertainty.

Update your resume and social media profiles.

Making sure your resume is up to date is the most important thing to do before applying to a job. New graduates looking for their first full-time role should use their resume to highlight internship and part-time experience, academic projects and achievements, and volunteer work. Professionals reentering the job market should update their resume to include recent professional accomplishments, focusing on overall impact to their team and organization. Certificates and credentials acquired through online courses are another great addition, regardless of your career stage.

Any major additions to your resume should be reflected across your professional social media accounts. Your online profiles should complement the information in your resume to tell a complete story of who you are, what you have done, and your goals for the future. Do not be afraid to show your personality in your LinkedIn bio; employers want to know you will be a fit for their company culture as well as the position.

Lean on your network.

With so many looking for work, you may feel wary of asking your network for support. Don’t be! Employee referrals remain one of the top sources for new hires, so relaying a message to your family, friends, and professional network about your current search is an excellent starting point. They may know of an open position within their current company and can personally provide a referral, or they can increase your message’s reach by sharing it to their larger network.

Remember that you are your own best advocate and perseverance is necessary for success. Although the job search is not without rejection, utilizing these tips will help you stand out from the competition, ready for the next stage of your career.

 

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