This is a guest post by Stan Silverman

Due to the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have put a freeze on hiring unless they are searching for individuals with the skills to fill infrastructure or other critical positions.

The key to landing a job regardless of economic times is to be different than those with whom you are competing. Hiring managers want people who will generate results and improve the competitive position of the company.

Your next job most likely will originate from your business or personal network. Be sure to continue to build your network and maintain contact with those individuals who are part of it.

So, how do you improve the chances of getting hired?

Build your personal brand

Ram V. Iyer of The Business Institute writes, “Personal branding is the … marketing of a person’s … strengths, capabilities, talents [and] background … to establish a specific image or impression of [that] person in the mind of others that evokes positive emotions.”

How do you build a personal brand? Do your job and do it well. Develop your reputation as a thought leader and as a recognized authority in your field. Make presentations at industry events. Develop a reputation for honesty and integrity.

Hone your communication skills

The late Lee Iacocca, the former chairman of the board of Chrysler Corporation, once said, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

Be effective when making a PowerPoint presentation, ensuring that the audience can read your slides. Always place yourself in the position of an audience member and ask yourself, is this an effective presentation?

When you are selling ideas, you are selling yourself. Those with the highest credibility will have an easier time having their ideas considered and accepted.

Be committed to providing a great customer experience

To build competitive advantage, treat customers like you would like to be treated. Give them a great customer experience.

In a May 2018 article headlined “Five reasons why your business is losing customers,” Katie Lundin wrote, “You’re guilty of poor customer experience, your product or service failed to meet expectations, you didn’t show value, your business is inconsistent, and your sales tactics are out-of-date.” In your previous positions, if you tackled any of these issues, explain how you did so during your interview.

Embrace the philosophy of continuous improvement

On your resume and at interviews, describe how you helped break paradigms and changed the culture in previous positions to one of continuously improving work processes. How did you accomplish this?

During your interview, explain how continuous improvement builds competitive advantage. If the company at which you are interviewing shows no interest in continuous improvement, reconsider your desire to work there.

Exhibit a proactive, can-do attitude

Employers hire people with the right attitude. Relate previous experiences that demonstrate you are not afraid to get out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges.

People who have never failed have never accomplished what they are capable of, nor have they built the internal fortitude to recover from inevitable failures in the future. There are people who see a world of possibilities and abundance versus those who see limitations and scarcity. Employers want to hire the former.

Follow the above advice throughout your entire career and employers will search you out.


About the Guest Post Author:

Stan Silverman is founder and CEO of Silverman Leadership and author of “Be Different! The Key to Business and Career Success.” He is also a speaker, advisor and widely read nationally syndicated columnist on leadership, entrepreneurship and corporate governance. For more information please visit