5 Uncommon Ways to Boost Your Job Chances

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When you’re trying to find a job, sometimes you have to think outside the box. Considering the average job listing can have approximately 100-200 applicants, competition is fierce and you want to stand out for the right reasons.

In the past, we’ve shared some no-fuss, surefire strategies to make you a job applicant worth hiring. Those were more well-known ways to get noticed, but we want to take it a step further by getting creative with potential methods for attracting employers. Have you thought of these yet?

5 Lesser-Known Tips to Increase Your Job Chances

1. Learn another language. Every employer wants to hire someone with a verbal and written mastery of the English language. However, being able to interact with those who speak other languages is a necessity that continues to grow. Many employers are looking to hire individuals who are at least bilingual in Spanish, since, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States is the fifth largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Other common languages spoken in the U.S. include French, German, Polish, and Chinese. Becoming fluent in another language (i.e, you can read, write, and converse in the language) is an excellent way to get ahead of the pack when applying for jobs. Make sure to note what languages you speak on your resume or application. If you do not currently know another language, it may be worth your while to invest in a course or a language teacher.

2. Write a blog. Want to let employers know how passionate you are about your chosen field of work? An easy way to show your passion is to write about it. Normally your resume or cover letter can tell your story, but there are some situations when you may want to resort to other types of writing. An online blog can be the ideal means to display your interests to the world. Or maybe you might consider writing for a website or publication related to your career path of choice. Particularly for those short on verifiable work experience, writing about your preferred line of work may prevent you from being overlooked by potential employers. If you have your own blog, don’t hesitate to promote yourself by sharing your hunt for a new job. I know someone who took to her blog to discuss her job search frustrations, and it quickly led to a new job opportunity through one of her connections. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s new publishing platform, which allows users to publish long-form posts about their expertise and professional interests. Social media can be utilized as another method of establishing and demonstrating your interest in a field. If you do any writing related to your career of choice, make sure to note it on your resume, cover letter, application, LinkedIn profile, and/or online portfolio.

3. Get in shape. When you’re looking for a job, your resume is not the only thing that should be whipped into shape. Being physically fit can provide the extra energy, mental fortitude, and clarity required for a successful job search. Exercise and healthy eating can keep depression, stress, and apathy at bay. Physical fitness may indicate to employers your personal motivation, determination, and dedication to self-improvement. Overall wellness can also increase your confidence level when applying to and interviewing with potential employers. If you’re applying to a job that considers physical fitness, you will be more prepared to take and pass any physical agility tests or medical exams they may require.

4. Quit bad habits. This goes along with the previous tip, but takes improving your wellness a step further. While somewhat controversial, there are a few employers that only consider job candidates who are nicotine-free. This will often be stipulated in the job posting. If you will be tested by a potential employer for nicotine, you should be nicotine-free for 3 months prior to testing. It should be obvious, but many employers conduct drug testing to make sure you do not have any illegal substances in your system. If you have been involved with drug use, the time to stop is now. Drug use can also present a problem when they check to see if you have a criminal background. Although alcohol is not illegal, abuse of this substance can limit your job chances if it affects your ability to come to work, ability to function on the job, or if you receive alcohol-related infractions. Dumping these bad habits will also improve your health, particularly in regards to passing any required physical agility or medical exams.

5. Get a new email address and voicemail greeting. If you’re serious about your job hunt, you want to communicate that if an employer decides to contact you for an interview. An email address like ‘everydaydrinker@yahoo.com’ or a voicemail recording with your favorite dance song does not portray a professional image. Instead, sign up for a new email address that is more generic (base it off your name, for example) or that sends the message you want to send to potential employers (like, JohnDoeProbationProfessional@gmail.com). You can reserve this new email account for correspondence related to your job hunt. If you have a questionable voicemail greeting or song as your message, consider changing it to a standard pre-recorded option or record a new greeting that sounds more professional. Make sure the message states at least the phone number reached, but ideally your name, so the employer can feel assured they have reached the right number—otherwise, they may hesitate to leave a voicemail.

It’s All in the Details

You may be scratching your head at some of these suggestions, but when you consider employers may have to filter through dozens or even hundreds of candidates for one position, even the most “minor” detail can land your resume or application in the “No” pile.

As a job seeker, your goal is to give employers every reason to hire you. By applying these tips to your job search, you can reduce the likelihood of employer rejection and ensure you stand out for all the right reasons.

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