Standing out as an applicant: the 90-day employment plan
Today, many young professionals (YPs) are in the same position – looking for a job amongst a sea of similarly qualified, or more qualified, applicants. For the YP in this situation, there is one question that is constantly looming – How do I stand apart from all of the other applicants?
In order to stand out from other candidates, you need something that shows initiative, something that shows that you are not only qualified for the position, but you are the best fit for the job, and something that shows that you want THIS job, not A job. A way to accomplish these objectives is through a 90-day employment plan.
What is the 90-day employment plan?
A 90-day employment plan is a reflection of what the new hire wants to accomplish when starting at a company. Most basically, it outlines goals, strategies and tactics for the first three months in a new position. Through a 90-day plan, an individual needs to communicate that he/she is the best fit for the job, that he/she has researched the company and that he/she is enthusiastic about the work he/she would be doing. For example, a new hire could explain how he/she would approach learning about and assimilating to the company culture, how he/she would handle problems encountered in the new position and how to measure success in the new job.
How to write a 90-day plan
1. The plan should address issues or themes mentioned in previous interviews.
The exact 90-day plan will vary based on the specific job, industry and goals of the position. Above all, the plan needs to show that the interviewee understand the company and paid attention to interview questions. The interviewee also needs to be assertive by asking questions about the company and closely listening to responses. The responses will help to tailor a 90-day plan, showing that the interviewee is best to accomplish the position’s objectives.
2. The formatting should be industry- and job-specific.
A 90-day plan needs to be organic and specific to the position that is being applied to. A template would defeat the purpose of the uniqueness of an individual plan. It also would not allow the reader to see a unique writing style. Mentors can be great resources for advice.
3. Be passionate.
A successful 90-day plan will show excitement at the prospect of joining the company for which the interview is taking place. The plan does not have to be exclusively about the to-do list items. In fact, talk more about how the job fits directly into professional – and even personal – goals. Even if the job is not a perfect match, find a way to tie it to a passion. Passion can set an individual apart from a crowd and demonstrate that the interviewee is not simply looking for a job, but something he/she can be excited about. That energy is a great way for an interviewee to show that not only is he/she qualified for the position, but also willing and able to take on new challenges and welcome to new opportunities.
Setting yourself apart from the others
A 90-day plan will set an interviewee apart from his/her competition and most likely be viewed as unique by the interviewer. The plan shows initiative and dedication.
In today’s economy, the competition for job openings is fierce, especially among young professionals. But, when you take the time to set yourself apart from everyone else, an interviewee can demonstrate that he/she is the best fit for the right job at the right company.