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How to Differentiate Yourself During a Job Search

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 | Posted in Ford Myers

Career expert Ford R. Myers Interviewed on CW57 regarding how to differentiate yourself during a job search or interview.

How to Differentiate Yourself During a Job Search? – How do you make yourself more marketable?

Natasha Brown:

Good morning, everyone and welcome back to Speak-Up! here on the CW Philly. I’m Natasha Brown. A local man has written a book designed to help you find career happiness, even in these very difficult economic times. Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC, and the author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” Welcome to the show.

Ford R. Myers:

Thanks, Natasha. Nice to see you again.

Natasha Brown:

Well, let’s start by talking about your book. How appropriate in these tough economic times that you would come-out with this book! But you started writing this long before the recession hit, right?

Ford R. Myers:

I did. I started writing this actually more than a year and a half ago. People are always surprised to hear that because they figure, how did I know that the recession was coming? And the answer is very simple. I’m a career coach and I sit with clients all day long, helping them with their careers. And these are often senior-level people who have influence and who have inside information about where their business is going, what the trends are, and how things are going in general. So just listening to these clients, it helps me to have a unique perspective. It helps me to keep my finger on the pulse of where business is going; where employment is going. And I knew that this perfect storm was brewing. So I sat down to start writing this book a long time ago.

Natasha Brown:

Explain what you’re telling folks in that book. How do you get the job you want when no one’s hiring?

Ford R. Myers:

Well, the first thing to understand is that it’s a misconception. The notion that no one’s hiring is really not true. This book could have been titled, “Get The Job You Want, Even When YOU THINK That No One’s Hiring,” because the truth is that even while many companies are laying-off hundreds or even thousands of people through the front door, many of them are quietly hiring people through the back door. So my point here is that it’s just not true that nobody’s hiring. I know things are bad, I know the economy and the job market are terrible, and I have a lot of empathy for the people who are out of work or who are being laid-off now. But there are strategies and tactics that they can use to still succeed, to still land a good position, even in this terrible time.

Natasha Brown:

OK. So what would you tell me if I were out there looking for your help, trying to figure out how to find a job here? How do I go about doing it? Where should I be looking? What businesses and what fields?

Ford R. Myers:

Well, the first thing I would tell you, Natasha, is to slow-down, think it through, and get a strategy. In other words, don’t just rush out and e-mail 500 resumes the very next day after you get laid- off! That’s a bad approach. A good approach is to take a few steps back and take stock of your situation – where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you’re going in the future of your career. Maybe get some help from a career coach or even go to a nonprofit, go back to your college career placement office, use some of the municipal agencies that support people in job transition.

My point is that there’s no shortage of help. What you want to do is get some support, get some help, create a strategy and get real, real clear about what you want to do next. In other words, don’t say to yourself, “Oh, I’m desperate, I’ll take anything I can get.” Don’t cast a really wide net and accept just anything. My belief is that you have to be clearer and more laser-focused than ever when you’re in these very difficult times.

Natasha Brown:

In what industries are people finding success; finding jobs?

Ford R. Myers:

Well, some of the fastest-growing industries, the ones that are still hiring a lot are healthcare, education, government, and security, which is kind of related to government. But these are four industries that I think people should look at if they have a career path that lends itself to these kinds of disciplines.

Natasha Brown:

How do you make yourself more marketable? I’ve done this my whole career, so I’m probably not a good example. But let’s just talk about making yourself a little more marketable, a little more desirable for a company. If you’re out there, and you find yourself not doing what you’ve been doing for years.

Ford R. Myers:

Well, to make yourself more marketable, as I said, first, be really clear about your message. Know who you are, know what you stand for, and stick to your guns. Employers actually appreciate that. They’ll see you as more of an expert, more committed to your field, and bringing more value.

The second thing I would recommend is, make sure your documents are top-notch. You can’t just have an OK resume and pretty good cover letters. You want to have everything absolutely perfect; top-notch to differentiate yourself.

Another thing I recommend is, really learn to articulate your value. What are your contributions? The only thing the employer cares about is, “What are you going to do for me today?” So you have to be able to quickly ascertain the company’s needs, problems, and challenges, and then think of how you can connect your own assets, experience, and your track-record of proven results. That’s what they’re looking for. Talk in terms of proven results and tangible contributions. Don’t rely on your credentials or your college degree. Again, you really have to talk in terms of tangible results. That’s so important right now when employers are so careful about their hiring decisions.

Natasha Brown:

Absolutely. We’ve done lots of stories lately, especially in this area with job fairs that have been scattered about the region. How effective are they? You’ve got hundreds and hundreds of people turning-out, trying to make their way to these tables, to these companies. First of all, how do you set yourself apart in that kind of a setting? And are they effective?

Ford R. Myers:

Having fantastic documents is really important. But beyond that, you asked another question, which is, “Are these job fairs worth it?” I don’t really think they are worth it if you’re just going there with your resume in your hand, standing in line like a meat market waiting to talk to the person at the booth, because it’s just not a good hiring process. It’s not very efficient. I believe that job fairs are good for one thing, which is research. I tell my clients to go to job fairs, to look around, to see who’s there, to discover who’s hiring and which companies are growing. What are the trends that you can pick-up when you’re at the job fair?

In fact, rather than standing in line and waiting to have your turn at the booth, I think it’s better to mill around and network with the people who are there, the other candidates. You see, candidates are in the market. They’re looking for opportunities too, so maybe they know of a job that’s not right for them, but it might be right for you. In my opinion, the job fairs are great for gathering information, using them for research, and meeting a lot of folks to build your network.

Natasha Brown:

Wow, that’s a really good idea. I guess you could chit-chat about this over lunch, but then you want to talk about it a little more.

Ford R. Myers:

Yes, you can have a very purposeful conversation. You can get right down to the heart of the matter, but I don’t like this idea of standing in line, like a big cattle call. I just think it’s demeaning in many cases. And I think that it’s unproductive in many cases. Now, I don’t want to knock the people who run job fairs. Their heart is in the right place and they’re trying to hire folks, but I’ve just learned from experience that most of my clients don’t find job fairs to be particularly productive if they’re looking to get offers. But they are productive to learn, to research and to gather information.

Natasha Brown:

Well, thanks again for being here with us. Again, the title of your book is “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” And what do you want to leave folks with? The lasting thought. What do you want the end result to be after they’ve read your book?

Ford R. Myers:

I’d say work through the book, go through the exercises, apply the different strategies. And then if you need to, get some help and support, because it’s too tough out there to do all of this by yourself right now. Don’t sit home and respond to online job postings all day long, sending-out your resume. You’ve got to get out and about, and connect with people!

Natasha Brown:

And be active about it.

Ford R. Myers:

Exactly.

Natasha Brown:

Thank you so much for being here. Very helpful hints here today.

Ford R. Myers:

It’s a pleasure.

Follow Ford on Social Media:

Ford’s LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fordmyers/

Career Potential LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/career-potential/

About Ford Myers

Career Success and Job Search Expert, Ford R. Myers

Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach and President of Career Potential, LLC. He is author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at https://careerpotential.com.

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