A Few Ways To Stand Out In The Crowd During The Pandemic

Companies are hiring and standing out from the crowd has always been key to landing an interview.  The pandemic hasn’t changed that.  What has changed somewhat is the crowd and the availability of ways to separate yourself.  Right now, there are lots of entry level people looking to get into the workforce, lots of people who lost their job due to the pandemic looking for a new role, and many people who, after being out of work for a while, have realized that they are ready for a career change.  So, what if you are in one of these crowds?   How can you make yourself stand out and maximize your marketability in a time where some of usual avenues for career growth and exploration aren’t an option? 

 
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You Are An Entry Level Candidate
Employer Perspective:
No Experience
Solution: Volunteer in a role that lines up with what you want to do.
- If you want to get into sales but have no experience with cold calling, think about a nonprofit that needs to raise funds. This type of volunteer work can easily be done from 真人百家家乐软件home.   
- You don't see a role like that out there? Perfect, that is your 1st cold call.  Reach out to a nonprofit whose mission you support and offer your time. 
- Elections are right around the corner, volunteer to make calls for a candidate you can stand behind.  
How To Maximize This For Your Career: Keep track of your results and effort so you can talk details, not emotion.  These stats will be great on your resume and give you measurable results to share in an interview.  So rather than just saying, “I feel like it was a good experience,” you can elevate it to something like, “I called about 50 people per hour, typically connecting with 5 of which 3 would donate on the spot compared to my peers who averaged 1 donation per hour.”

You Have Been Unemployed for 3 Months or More
Employer Perspective:
 What have you been up to since your last employment?|
Solution: Learn something new.
- This does not need to become your new full-time job.  Spend 10 hours or more a week to improve yourself and show that you are making the most of your time. 
- Your personal/professional development should be interesting in a work-related way, but does not need to be directly tied to your chosen profession.  
- If you are in Sales, why not get certified or learn a new skill?  Don't have the disposable income right now?  There are a ton of free resources out there such as Salesforce Trailheads or hubspot.  Even if you will not use this in your day today, it shows work, growth, and drive.  
- People are understanding, just like they were in 2008 & 2009 in the Financial Crisis, however employers are drawn to candidates who take the opportunity to grow and not sit idle. 

Want to pivot in the pandemic?  It's tough, but not impossible.
Employer Perspective:
It is a risky proposition to hire someone who has never done a particular role.  The fear is you might not enjoy the role or take a long time to ramp up.
Solution: Know the market and level up.
- Utilize solutions like Salesforce's Trailhead, which helps you identify opportunities in the Salesforce ecosystem which is expected to add 901k new roles in the next 4 years.  By being able to explain the path you are after you will show your commitment to the change.
- Next, start learning everything you can via free resources so you can talk to your experience in the field and become even less risky. 
On your resume: Include a two sentence objective statement at the top explaining your intention to pivot.  Otherwise, employers think that you are just applying to anything and won’t take you seriously. 
- Finally, the biggest obstacle I have experienced with people wanting to pivot is compensation expectations.  Just because you have 10 years of experience in the "real world" does not mean you can get equivalent credit for experience in the pivot.  Knowing the compensation range for the position you are going for is the best evidence for how serious someone is about pivoting.  By utilizing a site like Payscale you will able to say, “I know the comp range for this position is between X and Y, so I am looking for Z.”  The more willing you are to go in low on that range, the better.  The employer is getting someone with business experience that might come in handy elsewhere or allow you to ramp up quicker than someone with less business experience.  On the flip side you get the career pivot you are looking for in a difficult market.
- Remember, it needs to be a win-win otherwise it will eventually become a lose-lose for all.

- By Tim Sprangers

Tim Sprangers