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A question we get asked a lot here at Talener is how someone who may just be out of school or is in the process of changing industries can get a leg up on their entry level competition.  As a junior level person, it can feel like there is an endless supply of people just like you vying for the same roles at the same time and it can be frustrating, but here are a few ways you can differentiate yourself from your competition and add extra value once you are on the job:

1.)    Read Articles, Blog posts, etc.:  Besides keeping you on top of what is going on in your industry (or the industry you hope to move into), this will allow you to bring valuable, current events and information into your conversation during your interviews as well as helping you become a resource to manager and coworkers once you are hired.  The ability to stay on top of current events and trending topics in any market is a value added skill to any junior level person.

2.)    Immerse yourself in the company’s competitors, clients, etc:  When you are interviewing, being familiar with what the company does, who their biggest clients are and what their niche or reputation in the marketplace is shows prospective employers that you are interested in them and gives you a leg up on other candidates for the job by giving you more to talk about and engage them with during your interview.  Once you have been offered the job, this can help make the learning curve shorter.

3.)    Network, Network, Network: While looking for a new role, go to MeetUps, reach out to people in your industry on linked in, and talk to everyone you know about what you want to do.  You never know if the person you end up watching football with on Sunday at a sports bar or a friend’s party is the person who is looking to hire or whose company is a perfect fit for you.  Once you have scored your new job, do not let this skill go to waste.  Participate in and attend company events like softball or volleyball games, volunteer days, and other things that will increase your visibility within other groups or teams and with those in higher management.

4.)    Be Willing to Work Longer Hours:  Now that you have scored your awesome new job, someone is going to have to teach and train you.   Your new team or senior people in the team will have more time before or after hours to spend with you to answer your questions and get you up to speed.  Observe those on your team and adapt accordingly – are they all in at 7:00am so they can get work done before the markets open or before everyone else comes in and starts asking them questions?  Is your whole team coming in at 10:00am, but staying until 7:00pm or 8:00pm?  At least until you are trained and/or have a well defined role on the team, work around their schedules to ask questions, get further training, or request guidance.

There are many other ways to set yourself apart, but these are a few key items that we have seen a lot of success with recently.  Are there things that have worked for you that are not on this list?  Questions? Clarifications?    Leave a comment or shoot us an email and let us know!

Have a great day!

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