50 years back, to differentiate yourself was easy. All you needed was a degree and you would’ve gotten far in life. The reality today is very different— a degree doesn’t guarantee job security no more. What then do we need to stand out from our peers? How do we differentiate ourselves?
In principle, we should simply focus on acquiring the right skill sets for the desired job. Because that’s all employers look for right? Wrong! As it turns out, we at Glints have noticed that many employers look for someone who is passionate about a cause, someone who possesses a dazzling personality, and someone who pursues his/her hobbies outside school.
You probably have heard of many ways to upgrade yourself in terms of skills. Here’s our take on how you can differentiate yourself in 5 easy but effective ways.
1. Spend time on your interest and become good at it
Let your interests, become your talent.
Be it playing a musical instrument, DJ-ing, drawing, dancing, etc. Let it become a prominent part of your personal life. Look for opportunities to ignite your passion, such as being a member of the dance society and performing for public events, music competitions, graphic design job offers, etc. Your passions and interests say much more about you than your CAP/GPA, and future employers want to be able to connect with you on a personal level. Differentiate yourself with what you truly like.
2. Take on a community service role
Participate in community service work which the company feels strongly for.
When it comes to pitches, sales and presentations, companies are often advised to sell their vision and impact on society first. It is without question that corporate social responsibility (CSR) has entrenched and established itself, to be a vital component in companies all over the world. So before you apply for that big company you’ve always dreamed of, you might want to reconsider giving back to society and to develop a greater sense of social responsibility.
3. Start a personal blog
Differentiate yourself through storytelling
All employers are the same. Having a strong, positive online presence is becoming more important than ever. Having a well-designed online presence is a great way to get ahead of the race and impress your future employees starting now.
For those who like having a personal space, a blog is a great way to show your ability to clearly express yourself and your world views. No amount of personal essays can beat a well-organised, well-thought out blog that show how opinionated or interested you are about a particular topic.
“The world is a book, and those who don’t travel see only one page” — St Augustine
Don’t miss out opportunities to travel, be it Summer School Programmes, Student Exchange Programmes or just personal plans. For those who are on a tight budget or want extraordinary experiences, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a great resource to start. Not only will you be working on organic farms in another country, you will also be provided with lodging, food and water, and great interaction with local hosts.
5. Above all, strive to become good at what you do
Be a craftsman
Back to the first point: having an interest is easy. However, to act on it and make it a talent is not. Having a sense of commitment and discipline is the only way one can master a skill. If you’re great at a skill, it will help you get ahead of the rest, show that you can nurture your talent besides school, assure recruiters of your good time management skills, and paint a more complete picture of you outside your resume. If instead you are just looking to develop new skills, or to be more specific, develop skills relevant to your dream job, do internships. Yes, internships give you the kind of exposure and experience that are extremely valued by every employer today, especially if the internship you did is relevant to the job or industry that you are planning to apply for. Such relevant internship experiences is also one way that can help you differentiate from your peers who do not have as many relevant work experiences like you.
Already stand out from your peers? Get hired from the companies here.
Editor: Bryan Lee