Typically, when one starts – or thinks of starting – the job search, the first thing they do is update their resume.  But a question lingers… is there anything else you can do?  What about when you *aren’t* job searching?  What are those things that make passive candidates attractive to employers?  What can you bring to the table that other candidates can’t?  By utilizing some of the sites and ideas listed below, you can make yourself stand out in the sea of job seekers.  So let’s see what you can do to make yourself more marketable…


It seems everyone today has a LinkedIn profile.  I have already written about social media and the job search, so I won’t go too in-depth.  However, LinkedIn is one of those sites that I like to check, and see updated, when I look at resumes of candidates.  What I look for is pretty simple:

  • That your resume and your LinkedIn page match
  • That the sections are all updated
  • That you have a good amount of connections
  • Belonging to (and participating in) groups is a big plus as well

All of these things make me think that even though you might not be looking for a job today, you care about your professional life and you have embraced the new wave of networking.
Expanding Your Skill Set

The “hot” technologies change almost as much as the fashion and entertainment trends.  It used to be .NET, then it was Java, then web, and now Mobile seems to be the place to be.  Do you take the initiative to learn new technologies on your own?  Do you ask your manager to add new responsibilities or skills to your job description?  By keeping abreast of the changes in your field,  you not only become an invaluable resource to your company, you make yourself more marketable.  We often times have jobs with newer technologies where the hiring managers ask for “knowledge 0f” or “exposure to” a new language, system, or process.


This one only really applies to developers.  GitHub is an online repository for developers to show off their code and work on projects with others around the world.  According to their website, there are over 15 million users and over 38 million projects.  GitHub has a place for individual developers to store their code – which can either be public or private – as well as company teams to safely keep track of all their development efforts.  More and more, I see resumes with links to personal GitHub accounts that act as portfolios for potential employers to take a look at the code you’ve already developed.

Local User Groups

By joining groups on LinkedIn or through MeetUp (or similar social sites), you can not only learn more about job opportunities, but also learn what the hot skills are for your area, or learn about other ways that you can help in your local community.  User Groups also often have speakers or sponsors with whom you can network.


By working with technology charitable organizations, you not only help others get involved and excited about something that you are passionate about – it looks good on a resume!  I actually just had a client that wanted to know what hobbies our candidates had.  There is an altruistic push away from the “heads down coder” type roles and those with more of a social and community-oriented focus.  By volunteering your time with different technology (or non-tech) organizations, you can not only put your skills to use, but make a difference in the world.  Some great tech-focused organizations are Girls Who Code, anything STEM related, Social Coder, and

With more and more people searching for jobs, it seems that (much like college admissions) finding a job is no longer just about a stellar resume, but about what sets you apart from the others applying for the same role.  By integrating some of the ideas listed above, you can not only expand your repertoire, but make yourself more attractive to employers!

So tell us… what is your favorite way to differentiate yourself?

Image courtesy of phanlop88 at

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