It is important to stand out from the crowd because the job market is competitive in every field. It is also important if you want to be a distinct individual from others who are interested in learning and development. It gives you a better chance of success at the workplace, as you get a reputation of your own. Here are my recommendations on how to cause a good first impression.
Dress to impress
Wearing appropriate clothing at the workplace is a must. Taking the example of a law firm, when we think of a lawyer, we think of someone wearing a suit and a tie. Now of course this is not necessarily true, lawyers do not go to bed in their work attire. Yet, at the workplace, lawyers will be wearing appropriate clothing because of generally established lawyer attire. Clients will take an appropriately dressed lawyer more seriously than an inappropriately dressed lawyer.
Nor would you go to a construction site without a hardhat, boots and a hi-vis vest. With this example, employers want to see that you respect their workplace policy and health and safety regulations that they must abide by. Making the effort of wearing correct clothing to the workplace, goes a long way.
Thank employers for the time and effort they invested in you, especially if you have done an internship with them or worked part-time in their firm. Tell them that you enjoyed working with them and that you would like to work with them again in future if possible. Follow up on LinkedIn if applicable and keep them updated on your career progress. Employers tend to invest more effort into interested individuals, hence why a common question in applications is “why do you want to work with us?”.
Have a conversation with employers when networking. Bring a topic up that will definitely prompt both you and the employer to dive into a conversation where you can both share your ideas. You can ask about their thoughts on recent legal developments for example.
Comment on the food, if any, during the networking event. You can even make jokes (within limits) to show that you are a humorous and sociable individual. Small things like these make you more interesting to the employer. They will see that you are comfortable with conversing about anything and that you are not with them just to land a job or make it all about them and their career experiences.
Relate to the employer
If the employer seems comfortable with sharing their personal experiences, such as how they navigated into their career, listen in and see how they relate to you. Without too much detail, you can also share your experiences. This way, the employer may relate to you and remember your name more closely than others they meet. Even if they do not directly relate to you and your experiences, they may be interested and intrigued as to how your experiences differ from theirs.
Network with various employers
Try to network with a range of employers you are interested in hearing from. This is especially good to do if you are interested in various companies and sectors. You will learn different things from different employers, and different employers will be more interested in investing in you than others.