Top 10 ways to set yourself apart in the job search

Even though you are accomplished with a degree, it sometimes doesn't seem like enough these days when trying to find a job.  Sure you were involved in college and even after, but then again who wasn't? Competition is fierce today which is why it is important to set yourself apart.  Here are the top 10 ways to do so.

1. Volunteer

Volunteering shows that you are patient and give some of your free time to activities that do not exactly pertain to your area of business.  It shows that you have a wide range of interests and that you are able to see a bigger picture. Not only will these aspects show to an employer, but the fact that you are giving back to the community shows a selfless act.  However, if you are volunteering just to make your resume look better, then volunteering may not be the best choice for you to stand out.  Employers want sincere actions.

2. Professional groups

Join professional groups that are established in your community or nationwide. Many times these groups provide job listings, events and workshops that encourage and teach you to grow.  At many of these events professionals gather from all over, which gives you the perfect opportunity to network and to ask questions.  This brings us to the next point, networking.

3. Networking

The old fashioned way of networking and physically shaking someone's hand should not be thrown out the window.  Attend professional events or even something such as a wedding.  You never know who you will meet and what may be offered to you.  Along with the old fashioned way of doing so, don't forget to use your social networking devices such as Facebook or LinkedIn. These will offer many suggestions, just make sure that you use the social media appropriately so it doesn't set you back in your job search.

4. Personal branding

Think about you as a person and your qualities.  These should be qualities that are true, unique, strong and suitable for an employer's needs. They help complete you as the "full package" along with your personal appearance and personality. Make sure that you leave an impression on the person interviewing you, a positive and strong impression.

5. Be flexible

With everything being so mobile, it is important that we also are mobile. The younger generations are more in tact with change and flexibility.  However although the younger generations grew up with it doesn't mean they are completely comfortable with it. An employer needs to know that you can handle changes in plans, decisions or direction.

6. Know more than one language

Though it is not easy to do, having more than one language under your belt only improves your chances of finding a job.  Companies are integrating more cultures and locations into the way they do business. Whether that means they are hiring people from other countries or they are simply doing business with other countries, the ability to know a different language will set you apart and add to your skill set.

7. Revamp your resume

Taking a look at your resume before you send it in is always a good idea. Make sure the information is pertinent to the job you are applying for.  Also be sure to emphasize your skills and strongest points on your resume.  The progress that you made is more important than how long you worked at a certain job.

8. Certificates

Bragging is not always a bad thing. If you have any special certificates that show the extra work you put in, be sure to put those in your resume or mention them in your interview.  Just be sure that those certificates and awards actually exist!

9. Be confident

Confidence is a trait that is unmistakable.  It shows you know what you can do and that you are ready to do it.  However, make sure that you exude confidence and not cockiness.  There is a difference and one could be detrimental to getting that dream job.

10. Be honest

Honesty is always the best policy. So cliche, but it is so true. So many applicants "exaggerate" if you will, or simply put down completely incorrect information thinking the employer would not have time to check.  Wrong.  You will be caught and it will bite you in the butt. Being honest may not get you a big plaque on the wall, but it will get you that much closer to a job!

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