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EP 1453 There are number of things someone can do to stand out in a crowded field.  Most of them take time that is well worth spending.

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Great question I got! "How do you stand out in a crowded field?"

The problem with answering questions like this is that people want instant results. Sorry, folks, it doesn't happen overnight. It takes time. You see, when advertisers want to influence you, 99% of the time, you are not influenced by the 1st viewing of the commercial, the 2nd view of the commercial or the 22nd viewing the commercial. It is a process of time, right? That's what happens. That's what advertisers do.

The truth of the matter is, the way you stand out is over the course of time. Most people think that they write the best resume is absolutely perfect, and they apply to a job as a good boy or good girl through the applicant tracking system, they are going to stand out. They look for a magic bullet to stand out by diving into an ocean with lots of fish. You don't stand out that way. You have to go a different route.

Here are a few things I jotted down for how to stand out in the crowded field:
1. Branding yourself in developing a reputation that other people know about. This is something that takes time. I have done other articles, videos and podcasts about branding. I'm not going to go into that now.
2. Start doing informational interviews. These can be with people that you know or that people who you know know (2nd level from you). That takes time.
3. Get to know hiring managers. Sometimes you can get introduced. Sometimes you meet them through associations or organizations were you or they have an opportunity to meet one another. There are a lot of different ways to meet hiring managers.
4. References on LinkedIn. Do you have 2 references or 222 references? You may think that's ridiculous but look at my profile. I have tons of recommendations and tons of testimonials for work that I do. Why can't that be you? There are people who you know who would be very happy to attest to your competence.
5. Activating your network. You think that it takes one action to get your network ACTIVATED! Not true at all. 1st of all, most of you don't cultivate a network. It starts with what you do when you don't need them in order to cultivate them so that when you actually need them they are willing to be activated. Take action. Think about it. In your life, forget about your work life, just in your life in general, when people ask you for a favor, and you hardly know them, when people ask you for a favor what you actually do for them? Sometimes you do something, but most of the time you don't. That's the reality to it. You are no different. Just because you are looking for job, you think people are going to stop in their tracks and take lots of action to help you. It doesn't work that way, does it? You need to cultivate your network to activate your network.
6. In order to stand out, never EVER apply for job to an applicant tracking system. I mentioned this before. If you were swimming in the ocean that had 1 million fish unit, how easy is it to stand out? Not particularly easy, is it? However, if you are a small pond and the relatively few fish, it is a lot easier to stand out under those circumstances. Remember, if you apply for job to an applicant tracking system and doing the good boy and good girl thing (being a nice little puppy and doing what you're told to do), you are making a big mistake. You're so much better off getting to the hiring manager. You can find them through LinkedIn. You can find them 3 people you know. You can find them to people who you know who know other people who may know this person. Do what recruiters do and ask for help. "Who do you know who knows someone who works at…" Or "Who do you know who knows someone who works at (fill in the blank) who might know the person I'm looking for?". "Do you know anyone who works in accounting at so-and-so?" Asked for recommendations. You ask, "Who do you know who…" Ask it of everyone that you know. Ask it of the hiring managers that you get together with. You have no idea who the people you know know who you don't know.

Just remember that 70% of all positions are filled through networking and 70% of those 70% (or 49%) are filled as a result of introductions to people who you didn't know at the beginning of your job search. As I mentioned before, these are the people that your network knows that you don't know.

Those are number things that you can do to stand out.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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