There is no getting around it, you need to stand out in some way to get a job these days. More importantly, you need to network. Both of those things require you do something different from your peers in order to stand out. Most people will read this and say, “I don’t have time (insert excuse) to be creative in order to get a job.”
Well sit down and listen to a story my friend, a tale of wonder and excitement. After all, the internet is a space of excitement and wonder. Right?
What does that mean? It means do things that your peers don’t and do them well. This could mean showing how unrelated skills could transfer into the workplace. Most people have hobbies, and surprisingly enough almost all those hobbies are useful.
First, make a list of the things you can do, and I mean everything, right down to annoying popping noise with your mouth that drives your friends and family nuts.
Second, cross everything off the list you believe is common in your peers’ skill sets.
Now, you have isolated the skills you have to choose from to help make yourself stand out.
Pick a Skill
Now that you have your list of skills, pick one. Does it needs to be applicable to your field? Here is an example:
I know how to use a video camera, I can edit and interview. I used these skills to volunteer for an organization that later hired me for that skill as well as the skills all my peers have. You get the idea?
Your skill needs to be useful to your prospective employer, you need to be skilled enough in it. However, you may want to keep any quirky and weirdness at a healthy dosage.
Let’s say you wanted to be an administrator of a program at a nonprofit that serves the homeless. Your skills are:
- Cake decorating
- Computer Programming
Write down how these skills set translate into how you would use them on the job. It might look something like this.
- Aesthetically pleasing food
- Creative in Art design and graphics
- Help with visually appealing presentations and event planning
- Can teach career skills to volunteers and clients
You get the idea right? Now you should do the other two.
Cultivate that skill
This is the hard part! You need to make this skill seem useful to the organization you want to work for. This might involve volunteering for them, attending events they maybe at, running your own events, or just creating a website that showcases the skill.
Then you need to tie it in! Take my own example, I used my skills and volunteered. Soon, people at the job were asking why I didn’t apply for a position there, and I eventually was hired.
By cultivating skills and volunteering, you can show work ethic, create connections, and most of all provide something useful to the organization.
It may not work 100% of the time, but it did work for me and many others I know. Also, using this approach may help you improve yourself while looking for a job. This one goes out to all the new graduates still looking for jobs and those just starting school. Now go out there and do something interesting. You think I am kidding right? I am sure this is your face right now.
If you are stuck, you can post your skills in the comments below, and myself along with the community can help you figure out how to use your skills.