Author: James Butler
Ten things your peers aren’t doing that will put you ahead of the competition for security jobs. Ready to get started?
Looking for a job is a job. The key to success is to respect the process and be organized and methodical. There are steps you can take to fast forward the process. Some take time and planning while others are easy wins. These are things your peers are not necessarily doing and they will set you apart from the field.
1. Sign up for recruitment announcements.
Sign up to receive job announcements. Timely notices of available jobs will give you an edge.
2. Create and maintain an accurate job seeker profile.
Take the time to create a complete and accurate profile. Be sure to revisit and update if your information changes.
3. Don’t underestimate the intelligence value of professional social media.
Target companies you want to work for and take an in-depth look at them on more than their websites. You can gain important insight at their social media sites, including trends and challenges within the organizations.
4. Have a thorough understanding of any job you apply for.
Don’t respond based solely on a job title. Read the entire description. Strive to understand the challenges that likely underpin the role and ask yourself if you have the skills and competencies the job requires. Further, is it a job you want to do and would be happy in? If you convey the impression that you have not taken time to understand the position requirements, you underserve yourself.
5. Apply for jobs that you are genuinely qualified for.
Do not be the candidate who applies for every job no matter what the position description asks for. Two targeted applications directed at jobs you are clearly qualified for will trump 100 others fired off with little regard for what the job description entails.
6. Point out why you are the better candidate.
If your background is relevant and you are a good fit, tailor your cover letter and CV or resume to specifically address why you are the best candidate for the role. A well-thought-out approach sets you apart from the competition and will get the attention of the recruiter.
7. Distinguish yourself from the competition.
Network with people who have the job you want. Ask them to tell you about their journey and find out where their strengths lie. Work to distinguish yourself from the competition by focusing on what differentiates you. Take any necessary steps, like additional training or experience, that will advance your ability to be a competitive candidate.
8. Be open minded and push your limits.
Ask others what they perceive your strengths to be and where they think you can improve. Do not limit your inquiries to those in your comfort zone. Broaden your inquiries and be open-minded while seeking honest feedback. Accept constructive advice graciously.
9. Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.
Following up marks you as a professional genuinely interested in the position and the company. Most job seekers never follow up once they have applied. If the job has been filled, use this as an opportunity to understand why you were not chosen and what you can do to improve your candidacy for further positions.
10. Thank people.
Engage and be gracious. Take steps to thank people you have interacted with. Even after a search is closed, your information remains on file with that recruiter. You want to be viewed as a possibility for future hire, so leave a positive impression.
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