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Job seekers: Start thinking innovatively to differentiate yourself

Job seekers: Start thinking innovatively to differentiate yourself

I was really chuffed a few weeks ago when I was asked to be a mentor at ‘Launch 48’ – a weekend event with a simple goal: for entrepreneurs to pitch, build and launch a startup in 48 hours. There were some incredible ideas and the energy in the room was amazing.

Whilst I was certainly there wearing my startup hat, as I was moving around from group to group watching the ideas, designs, and app prototypes come to life before my very eyes, I couldn’t help comparing the concept to job seekers and their careers.

Imagine if you were given 48 hours to launch not a website or a new app, but your own (new) career. 48 hours where you could brainstorm, have access to career mentors and other like-minded ambitious individuals, before you had to pitch yourself (as opposed to your idea) to potential employers (as opposed to investors).

How would you make yourself stand out from the crowd? What strategies would you implement? And without wanting to sound like the host of a reality TV show, what would you do innovatively to really impress ‘the judges’?

But then I realised I had actually met up with a potential winner just a few days earlier. I’ve known Dominique for about two years now. She recently reached out to me asking if I’d have time for a coffee. She wanted a bit of career advice. The first thing I asked her was what she’d done to let people know what she was up to and I was more than impressed with her response.

Oh I have created a Facebook competition to get people to help find me a job”!

Shamelessly or otherwise – this was a totally new way of job hunting.

Here’s part of her campaign post: ‘Here’s where you come in – If you know of a Sydney based role that might be suitable, send it through and I’ll apply! If I am accepted for the role and last my probation, YOU RECEIVE $500!! Or, if you’re that way inclined, I will donate $500 to your favourite charity (Movember is coming up!).’

My personal Facebook comment was … “Genius idea!” Most important of all was that this idea has clearly worked.

While her post initially went to her own network, it was very quickly shared and Dominique has been emailed leads to some very impressive potential opportunities by friends, recruiters and even potential employers who had received her link. She has some really promising interviews coming, and my belief is that it won’t be long before Dominique is happily employed once more.

A new job is never going to just land in your lap unless you take proactive steps to promote yourself however you feel most comfortable.

Naturally you have more than 48 hours to make it happen. But my point here is that you need to be innovative in your approach in order to separate yourself from the rest of the pack.

You can no longer just rely on a great CV and a carefully crafted covering letter. There’s a whole lot more to it than that.

Think of all the technology, social media channels and applications available at your fingertips.

48 hours. Tick tock… tick tock.

More reading:

Job seekers: How do you stand out from the crowd?
Put yourself in the driver’s seat of your career
What is the best job in the world for you?
If you want a great next role, get ill first!
5 tips to polish and proofread your CV

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