You have probably read every online article and magazine tip rundown on getting an employers attention that has been written in the last several years. I know that I have.
But I have noticed that the same advice is constantly given: firm handshake, eye contact, seem relaxed but diligent, remain pleasant but not too casual, ask questions about the job, etc. What they fail to mention is how to show that you are better for a position than all of the other people using the same tactics.
That is always the problem that people forget when it comes to interviews or applications, whether in the workforce or freelance. It isn’t about impressing with confidence, at least not that alone. It is about making it clear that you have something that you can bring to the table that no one else can. In the end, what you are selling is your uniqueness.
Finding Your Unique Abilities
Being clear with someone else is impossible if you don’t first know what you have yourself. Before you present your application to a client or employer, you need to take some time to list all of those special things that make you you. What can you bring to the job that no one else can? What make you unique? What qualities do you possess that they should come to appreciate and rely on?
This can be anything that is listed as a skill, talent or personality trait. If you are dedicated, tell them so. Reliable and upbeat, tenacious when dealing with a problem, or just pleasant to work with. When listing skills, be explicit but honest. Don’t say that you can type 90 words per minute if you mean 60. Don’t say you can take on more work than is realistic. Never lie about work you never did. The trick is to impress them with real qualities you possess.
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Showing Off Your Uniqueness
Everything you say will need to be proven. Some of it will be over time (such as with your personality traits), but some can be shown easily right away. Some ways you can do this are:
- References to past clients or employers.
- Websites that you have designed.
- Articles that you have written have ownership of or a byline attached to.
- A description of a former job or project.
- Screen caps, copies, prints of samples of a completed work.
- An online or physical portfolio.
- A networking profile with connected employers and clients, such as LinkedIn.
- Providing a discounted or free sample in the genre of their choice.
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Filling in the Details
If you have stories of past projects or jobs that went well, have a couple of stories ready to regale them with. If it is related to the position you are applying for, all the better. Just make sure to be honest, never embellish the details, and be specific.
If you are asked to explain why a position ended, such as being fired, quitting or being laid off, be open about the details. Never point the finger of blame and be gentle with your explanation. If you made a mistake own up to it, but tell them how you learned from the experience and it will help you in your future endeavors.
Giving these details can be highly beneficial. It paints a more complete picture of who you are, and can help them to build trust while getting to know why you are the best person for the job.
Always Seek Opportunities for Personal Growth
These days you have so many opportunities for professional growth, it’s crazy! The best part is, you don’t have to leave your home to get a new degree or get certified.
Showing You Have What it Takes
When it comes to a job in the workforce, you are usually safe with being direct about past experiences. They can fill in the blanks by speaking to people who you worked for in the past, contacting references and asking questions. But when you are a freelancing looking for contracts or minor projects, you have to show them a different way.
What you should do is come up with examples of how you worked through other projects. The areas you want to focus on are your reliability, your ability to work to deadline and how you can solve problems on your own. These are all very important on independent contracts, as you are completely responsible for everything from the beginning to the final product.
Freelance or Workforce, Show You’re Unique!
In the end, you are showing that you are special, you have what it takes to get the job done better than anyone else, and you can deliver results. This is all based on you being unique, and so you should always show how those qualities that make you you are the ones that will get things completed the right way.
If you are able to get that across, then there is nothing you cannot achieve.
Image source: Pixabay