I love my parents, and I know they mean well, but when it comes to the modern day workplace, they are slightly out of the loop. Dad is a lawyer so he really has made a lifelong career for himself. I am pretty sure he hasn't changed jobs in 30 years or so, but unfortunately, most of us aren't so lucky to have that opportunity these days. While dealing with her empty nest, my mom applied to work in the pro shop at our country club and couldn't understand why she didn't even get a phone call or an email in response to her application. Good thing she isn't applying for things on the reg or else her feelings might get hurt.
The job hunt is merciless, thankless, and takes a HUGE amount of time, most of which you will feel like you have wasted. However, there are always some proactive steps that you can take that will up your chances of standing out from the crowd.
Take the Industry Into Account
Unless you are heading to an interview for a pretty large company or someone in finance or high-end business, don't wear a suit! If you are applying for a creative company, be CREATIVE, duh! You are trying to express your artistic side through your resume, your communication style, and your wardrobe. If you are applying for a start-up, you are probably going to be overdressed no matter what you wear so just look polished and put together, not like you just rolled out of bed (even if the CEO did!)
This also goes for your communication style. I cannot stress enough that you should always BE YOURSELF! No company wants to hire a mindless robot regurgitating information, and if they do, do you really want to work there? Inject your personality into your answers, and let them know who you are now, so neither party has regrets about the arrangement later.
Be Overdressed v. Underdressed
I know I said to express yourself, but obviously that doesn't include displaying your love of furry animals across your chest in a first round interview. Now look, I am a millennial too, so I understand that our generation gets a bad rap for being lazy because we have been able to do pretty much everything on a computer, but that is no excuse for not knowing how to look and act professionally.
Be Careful with Scent & Makeup
Science shows that scent memory can bring up some of the strongest emotions, and you don't want to go in smelling like your future bosses ex-girlfriend. Even if it isn't conscious and has nothing to do with you, it won't reflect well on your chances. Unfair? Yes, but life isn't fair my little teacup, so buck up and get over it.
What are some ways that you have stood out during the job hunt? What has worked and what hasn't?