Written by Kirsten Taggart

It’s been almost thirty years since Madonna claimed fame as an international pop-icon, and at 52 years old, she continues to top the charts.  Needless to say, Madonna has come a long way since her Like a Virgin years, yet she has never lost her knack for catching the public’s eye. Yet Madonna is more than just a talented singer – she has mastered the art of reinventing herself. Like this pop star, it’s important for job seekers to know how to appeal to their audience (employers) and stand out in the crowded field of candidates.  With these three tips inspired by Madonna, you’ll be transformed into a corporate rockstar in no time.

Though it barely needs to be said, Madonna is an innovation leader.  She is constantly one step ahead of her industry and I attribute this to her ability to follow her passion while adapting to the times.  Even if you’re not a superstar, following her recipe for success is simple: reflect on what you do best. What are you passionate about and how can you incorporate that into your job search?  Think about how and in what fields your natural talents make you shine. Doing so will help narrow your search to positions you will enjoy as well as direct you towards corporate cultures in which you will feel comfortable.  Of course we all understand that aiming for the dream job isn’t always realistic (Enajite Onos explains this well in her post, For Love or Money), but it’s not a bad thing to start out on a smaller scale, if it means getting to do what you love. Remember, even Madonna didn’t rise to the top overnight!

With her creative vision in mind, Madonna then takes to the studio. She has built a reputation for being honest and a perfectionist about her work, but her critical eye has served her well. When it comes time to reevaluate your resume and cover letter, you too should be your own worst critic. Be certain that your talents, passions, and related skills are clearly stated. Take time to tailor your cover letter to each company which you apply; add relevant skills and eliminate unnecessary ones. Be sincere in your cover letter and leave out exaggerations. Remember, show your potential value rather than tell companies they should hire you.

When it’s time to make an appearance for the interview, give yourself a “get-with-the-times” makeover. Madonna’s outfits have come and gone with each era, and so should yours. Rummage through your wardrobe and toss a few trends that don’t seem to be coming back anytime soon. Your long suit jacket with the padded shoulders will stand out in today’s office just as much as Madonna’s traffic cone bra would, well, anywhere.

Although you may not become the Madonna of your field, the opportunity to grow your talents is not unreachable. All it takes is a little bit of creativity, some courage, and a lot of believing in yourself.

Jobseekers: how have you reinvented yourself to adapt to today’s job market?

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