How to Stand Out From Other Candidates
Sure, you think you’re a great candidate that any employer will be lucky to hire. You’ve been educated at the best schools, have an amazing track record, and even possess a winning personality but is all that enough to secure your dream job?
With the pandemic still looming over our heads, job seekers have the unenvious task of navigating how to get that deserved job offer over competing candidates since businesses everywhere are taking a hard hit and downsizing or even closing down.
Here are some ways in which you can stand out as a candidate:
- A personal touch goes a long way. Sending a handwritten note after an interview will certainly keep you at the forefront of any recruiters minds and create a lasting impression. To add something a little extra, be sure to refer to parts of the interview so the recruiter knows you were fully engaged.
- Doing your research about the company you are applying to is usually a must before any interview, however try and take the extra mile instead of just rattling off what you see on the home page. Take your research one step further by reading the annual report. You can look for key phrases and the type of language used and make a conscious effort to insert those into your upcoming interview.
- Demonstrate how you can add value to the business. A really creative way of showing this is by presenting a plan at the interview. You can start by formulating how you are going to tackle the first 6 months into your role. This will give the recruiters an insight into how resourceful and skilful you are whilst reinforcing your interest in the job by putting in all that time and effort.
- Recruiters are seeking out skills and experience, and it plays a big part when interviewing for a role. For example, showcasing your expertise to wow recruiters by identifying gaps within a certain sector or making helpful suggestions to better the business. This will make recruiters sit up and take notice that you certainly can put your money where your mouth is and increase your chances of receiving a job offer.
- Creativity is one way to set yourself apart from the competition especially in industries like marketing or sales. Being creative shows recruiters that you have the ability to think outside the box, have initiative and vibrancy, and are willing to go the extra mile. Although, not every industry has the platform to show off the level of creativity needed to secure the role, there is an opportunity in something as simple as a presentation or resume.
- Don’t neglect your communication skills. Grit and resilience allow recruiters to see your ability to recover from setbacks as most companies are going through restructuring, facing a disruption, and constantly transforming to meet the demands of the ever-changing business climate. Recruiters will gain a sense of confidence knowing their candidate has the good sense to adapt and thrive through any volatility.
- Another emerging trend in hiring is being agile. This means that recruiters are also looking for skills that prove a candidate is willing to learn and grow as businesses evolve. For example, taking on a new skill that aligns with the business requirement or accepting a challenge to aid business expansion.
- It is important to make a good first impression but to make a lasting impression takes effort. Try leaving recruiters something to remember you by such as your portfolio or a good feedback on their most recent event or press release – something that would prove the interviewer that your interest does not just lie on the position, it is on the organisation as a whole. If you are taking the interview virtually, try to research information about your interviewer and find something in common you can chat about.
- Show that you are there to help. The hiring process can be a very stressful one and demonstrating that you are a problem-solver, assuages the recruiter’s fears. You can ask good questions about the current challenges they are facing and provide constructive solutions on how you plan to contribute. This allows recruiters to already envision you as an employee and understand that you will be an essential part of the team to help improve the current situation or address other challenges that may arise in the future.
- Be upfront and don’t hold back. As they say, fortune favours the bold so do not ask cliched questions or answer in a diplomatically correct way. Recruiters probably go through hundreds of candidates with similar answers and questions. This is the only opportunity to have an honest conversation and take stock of who the company are as a people and if their values align with yours.
- Networking is a vital aspect of businesses. Gone are the days that only business development people needed to network, everyone should be networking! Connect with people who are influential in the community and try getting a referral. Recruiters tend to value recommended candidates over sifting through hundreds of tailored resumes.
- Tailor your resume to fit the role. Be sure to add only relevant information pertaining to the position. You can analyse the job description and look out for keywords to sprinkle through your resume by highlighting past experiences aligning with the requirements section. Doing this will point out that you have tackled and excelled in similar tasks prior. Recruiters can imagine that the transition process will not be one to be overly worried about.
Don’t give recruiters a chance to find any cause for concern during an interview. Use all or some of the different ways to stand out as an excellent and sought after candidate!