3 Creative Job-Search Strategies to Make You Stand Out

Published: May 14, 2021

 Career Readiness       Interviewing       Job Search       
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When competing against hundreds of other job candidates for open roles, you need to think and act creatively to stand out. Here are three examples of creative ways to increase your odds of landing the role you want.

1. Expand your channels

Often, we limit ourselves to looking for open roles on job boards because that’s what’s easiest. Unfortunately, everyone uses job boards, and therefore they can be highly competitive and very frustrating. The good news is other channels can be used to increase the chances of landing interviews.

For example, there are networking apps like Shapr that can help you connect with others and improve your chances of finding open positions and landing interviews for open roles. Also, there are Slack groups for numerous industries and job functions such as this Slack channel for software developers. Slack group members often post open positions though these channels. And there are LinkedIn networking groups for numerous different industries and roles. LinkedIn allows you to easily search by industry and role to find the right group for you.

2. Use your references in unique ways

When you’re interviewing, interviewers only know as much as you tell them. So, why not pass along information about you that comes from others. This can help to back up your claims; testimonials can be powerful. Proof from other people is a big source of creating trust, especially with people who don’t know you well yet.

One way to use your references in a creative way is to print out your LinkedIn recommendations and include them as part of your application. Another way, even simpler, is to fit what others say about you into your interview answers. For example, if there are certain things people consistently say about you at work, you can say something like this in your interview: “My coworkers tell me that I’m the most meticulous editor, and I’m the one they always come to for any revisions they need with their reports.” 

Another way to use your references is to ask one or two of them to write a paragraph about why they believe you’d be a good fit for the role you’re interviewing for—and then try to work those words into your interviews. Yet another way is to add a “credibility statement” at the end of your interview. Tell your interviews to feel free to contact your references for any elaboration on anything further they need or would like to know about you.

3. Enlist outside help to get into a positive mindset

You are where your attention is. So, for example, if you’re interviewing and your attention is on thoughts of doubt and fear, you likely won’t be very effective. On the other hand, if your attention is on thoughts of possibility and curiosity, you’ll likely put your best foot forward and be an impressive interviewee. The same is true for your job search in general. When you lead with thoughts of possibility and curiosity, as opposed to doubt and fear, you’ll feel the difference in how you behave and approach your search.

One way to help you to get into this positive mindset each day is to use an app called ThinkUp. The app allows you to record and replay affirmations in your own voice to create the mental programming of your choice. Intentionally choosing where you focus your mindset and what thoughts you think can guide your search and result in you landing your ideal role faster.

For example, if you're often in self-doubting thought spirals, telling yourself that you’re never going to get the job, that you’re not good enough, the result is you’ll feel discouraged and won’t be able to bring the necessary positivity to your search for it to be successful. So, replacing this mindset is key. Once you identify a negative mindset (a win in itself!), the next step is to replace it with a positive mindset, telling yourself thinks like: It’s very possible that I’m close to discovering my ideal role. There are opportunities all around me. I have value to offer that people want.

ThinkUp allows you to record affirmations like these, play them back to you, and remind you of them. There are ways to both visually remind yourself and audibly remind yourself. The app, which comes in a free version and a premium version, also has other features, including daily meditations and motivations.

A final note

While it's certainly fine to search for open roles on job boards, it's important to think beyond boards. Use your network and expand your network. Use the great references you have. Enlist whatever type of outside help works for you so that you can get into a positive mindset. You will find the job you want. It just make take a little extra effort and creativity.

Natalie Fisher is best known for helping professionals land their ideal roles and achieve explosive salary growth (even with little experience). If you want to dive deeper on the topic of your career mindset and know exactly how to land your dream job offer, listen to her coach you on her Get a 6-Figure Job You Love podcast