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Optimum Talks Blog

Don’t Get Lost in the Shuffle

by Kim Hirsch

It’s 12:30 pm. Peak foot-traffic time in the Plus-15 (for those of you in the rest of the country, it’s an indoor pedestrian footpath in downtown Calgary). There is a constant hum of chatter, the click-clack of high-heels and the usual buskers putting on a show. As I walk along, I’m reflecting on the meeting I just had with my colleague about her recent blog post, Resilience. This conversation, coupled with the flurry of activity around me, got me thinking –– in today’s business world, aside from being resilient, what traits and competencies do you really need to stand out from the crowd? Especially if you’re a candidate looking for a job!

Of course, every recruitment engagement is unique and requires that candidates have specific skills, experience, and competencies, but what about those things that aren’t so obvious? Here are four areas that you should be focused on to ensure that you are positioning yourself as a distinct and ideal candidate:

Know Your Personal Brand and Skillset: If someone walked up to you right now and asked what you do, would you be able to succinctly and eloquently explain it to them? Be clear about who you are, what experience you have, where you see your career going and the value of your skills because you never know when you’re going to be cold called.

Prioritize Learning and Development: Are you a member of any industry associations? Do you attend networking events or seminars? Are you a volunteer or member of a board? By staying up-to-date on trends and recent developments in your area of specialization and by gaining experience in the community, you demonstrate commitment and drive –– two traits that are key for success in a new role.

Don’t Shy Away from Technology: It’s 2018. I think it’s safe to say that technology is officially here to stay. While you don’t have to know coding or even how to use every setting on your smartphone, it’s all about attitude and acceptance. Those people who are open to learning new IT systems and get excited about the changes associated with technology are the ones organizations want on their team.

Be Curious: Challenge the status quo, ask questions, and practice critical thinking! With ambiguity, diversity and disruption abound, workplace issues are becoming increasingly complex. People that have an open mind are more attractive candidates as they are more likely to produce innovative ideas, products, and processes.

Whether you’re actively looking for a job or are happily employed, managing your career and maintaining your resume are always important. By spending time and energy on these things you help ensure that when you do apply for that job or a recruiter calls you out of the blue you won’t get lost in the shuffle.