School admissions and the job market are increasingly competitive. It’s important to find innovative ways to set yourself apart and get ahead of the competition. Here are five steps to help you stay ahead of the competition and secure your dream career.
1. Stand out in your application
Unleash your unique strengths and talents to illuminate what makes you stand out.
Before you hit ‘send’ on that application, take the time to delve into the organization’s mission and goals. Can you align your aspirations with theirs? Share your relevant experiences, education, skills, and extracurricular activities in your application. Admission and hiring committees are not just interested in your goals; they want to see if you’re a fit for their objectives as well.
2. Participate in the community
Beyond the classroom, extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, societies, and volunteer opportunities open doors to a rich tapestry of learning experiences. The more diverse experiences you gain, the more you enrich your potential for a successful interview.
3. Make connections
Get active by making connections with peers in your college or university. Seek out mentors who can help lead you with knowledge or opportunities relevant to your career goals. Maryland hospitals often have shadow days and mentors willing to take you under their wing!
Establish a LinkedIn account to create a professional online presence, where you can highlight your latest projects and achievements, and stay updated on job opportunities. Use your LinkedIn account to connect with friends, colleagues, and professionals in your field.
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4. Effective follow-up
Remember, following up is equally important. Submitting your application? Choose the right time to do this. It’s recommended to wait about a week after applying before reaching out to the employer.
Interviewing for a position? Follow up after the interview to let the hiring team know you’re still interested and thankful for their time.
5. Keep a reflection journal
A reflection journal is great for keeping track of your personal growth and career goals. If you’re applying to multiple organizations, it’s also a good practice to keep a Google Doc of your process, follow-ups, and reflections. Find a model that works best for you and regularly look back on your experiences to learn from them!
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