How To Stand Out From Other Candidates
Often when you apply for jobs, you don’t hear anything back. Or the response is minimal. It can be pretty grueling and give you a lot of uncertainty about the quality of your resume, portfolio, and your worth as an employable person. Are you employable at all? Will you ever find success? These are dark thoughts, but we all go through it. Especially at the start of the game. The truth is that yes, it can be hard. And the temptation to fiddle endlessly with your cover letters, resume and curriculum vitae in hope of landing a better impression next time is huge. But what makes you stand out comes down to a variety of factors. In fact, according to Aptitude Research, 68% of recruiters are challenged in the process of finding and attracting the best hires. This is one of the key reasons why recruiters are turning to AI recruitment.
In this article, Everytalent shows you how to make your job application as impactful as possible, to secure you the best chance of landing in the ‘yes pile’, and stand out from other candidates. It also gives you the most indispensable tips on how to become an up and comer in your industry.
2022 is a unique time, with the rise of remote working and the general broadening of opportunity for people of all backgrounds, locations and prospective professions. While there is a lot of competition, and potentially more candidates applying for the same jobs as you, it is a great time to show your worth, and get some invaluable experience in the meantime. How do you do this? There are 5 key methods you can use which will increase your confidence, give you more bullet points for your resume, and ultimately project you into your industry.
Not sure what industry you should be breaking into yet? Check out Everytalent. It uses a detailed personality test and algorithms to match you with relevant jobs – you never know, you might find an interesting one in there.
Make Your Application As Impactful As Possible
Let’s begin with the base front: the application. The way to be confident with what you submit, you have to optimize it. As well as using effective, concise verbiage to make your point quick and sharp, there are a number of bullet points to adhere to. They can be seen as fiddly and predictable, but they are necessary.
- Recognized Assessment Scores
- Educational Modules
- Key Work Experience
At the end, a simple grammar check and a fine-tooth comb will go a long way. Also, think about the structure. There are ways that CVs can be eye-catching, and others where it will blur into the others. You want to land an impression, so think about ways that you can do so. It’s a virtual world, so think about how you can implement all of the certifications, modules and dissertations into your application – maybe link them so that the recruiter can check them out.
What Makes You Stand Out? Be Prolific With Work Experience
The benefits of work experience are countless. It might be the key element that separates you from other candidates. It gives you confidence, and genuine knowledge of how to perform in an industry.
This is especially true if you please a few employers/clients and get a smashing reputation as a young up and comer. Word can spread in a niche industry. Do the reputable work and the portfolio will speak for itself. Also, when you get to an interview situation, and you come across as a knowledgeable, experienced professional, it will come across as genuine. Because guess what? It is. This is bound to be what differentiates you from other candidates, and what distinguishes your work performance from that of your coworkers.
Another great aspect of your profile to add is that of measurable performance in job roles. For instance, you could show how your own planned and executed brand campaigns resulted in a 2x increase in your hiring company’s social media following. Or how your use of SEO in a particular job led to 3x as much traffic to your employer’s website. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as these speak loudly and clearly to recruiters about your abilities. They go one step further than bullet points – they show recruiters that you understand the workings of the industry, and how to act in accordance with them. Find the KPIs that are relevant to an entry level job and find ways to prove your knowledge and value in that area.
Network With Professionals
Network as much as you can. There is no greater favor to yourself than this. How can applicants create networking opportunities? Just look at your field. You might find that various hiring managers are hosting events that are relevant to you. In these scenarios, people can make introductions, shake hands and share a story or two. The concept might seem scary, but if you take the step, it can be a helpful way to get your foot in the door. The old adage of ‘who you know’ has been in operation since time immemorial, and will continue to exist for the long haul.
It helps even more if you listen to their stories, reflect their ideas back to them. Discuss something you are on the same level about, and you will reveal your own qualities to them. What’s more, you can get inside information about their business, which can help you to construct your own ideas of how to do it yourself, whether you agree or not. From listening to their side of things, you can get a better idea of what it takes to land a role that you desire. You can then implement that into your portfolio-build to get the job you want.
Making an impression in a remote environment is logistically trickier than in person, but you can still reveal your skills and experience there. Also, bear in mind that you can reveal your skills by attending virtual events. Remember, if there is a Q&A, always be brave and ask a question. Putting yourself out there sets you apart, makes you unique by showing job seekers your knowledge and implying that you have a valuable skill set.
Develop An Online Presence
According to Aptitude Research, most talent acquisition decisions are based on resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Based upon this, you should develop an online presence to make something of this.
The thing with an online presence is that it is fluid – it can be an online portfolio with links to testimonials, and professional and/or academic projects. Depending on your industry, and the nature of your work projects, you could put a number of different online portfolio hosting platforms. There are many out there, so dive in and see which one works for you. This doesn’t just make it easy for prospective employers to parse through your work. It also makes it easy for you to do so, and also others.
To that end, use keywords in your portfolio. Buzzwords that are relevant to your industry. This works with SEO so that your name pops up on Google to the casual searcher. What makes you stand out from the rest is also your visibility and accessibility, and the best way to do this is with a professionally designed online portfolio.
To make your content vouch for your credibility, add noteworthy content that adds value to your followers, and gains you new ones. You can also share content posted by industry peers. If done right, this can showcase your interests and values in a genuine way.
Prepare For Interviews
If you stand out from other applicants, eventually you will be interviewed. Then there is a different set of preparation to be done. Being interview-ready is highly important. It won’t just help you in an interview scenario, but it will also help you to summarize your skill base succinctly when writing your CV, resume, and cover letter. It’s a mindset, really. A productive, business-like one.
At Everytalent, we believe that the best way to secure a positive experience in an interview is to treat it as a learning opportunity, rather than a make or break event. In the latter case, you can create unnecessary stress which will put a lot of strain on the interview questions, and your answer to them.
Instead, try and remember that not all interviews lead to jobs. Try and learn something, practice asking genuine questions of interest to the interviewer, and have a productive approach. In fact, if you can assume that the first interview won’t be a success, then you can use it as a springboard for learning. This isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t give it your all. Absolutely do. But approaching them this way will teach you to make the best of it and not be devastated if you get a rejection. Rejection is not a bad thing. Every rejection is a step towards success.
The Future Of Hiring
The talent acquisition process is now changing more than ever before. It is evolving into a smarter, AI-based system designed to eliminate bias and geographical limitations. While we can debate for long hours about whether this is a better system than the manual methodologies of old, and both sides of the argument would have valid points to make, it is undeniably a method that more recruiters are working towards. Like with most things, the reality sits somewhere in the middle. AI and technology are a great thing for recruiters, but we still need human judgments to decide on a candidate. At the end of the day, machines don’t pick up on personalities and charm. Aspects like that are important and aren’t going away. In short, the intuitive experience of hiring managers and HR teams are there for a reason and won’t be replaced – so don’t put all of your eggs into the AI basket. It is still highly likely that your application will be viewed by human eyes as well as machine eyes.
You should also look for platforms that are designed specifically to optimize the evolving AI methodology. Everytalent is a great example of a system as a service that is using AI acquisition tools to source relevant jobs and experience for the candidates who use the platform. In a sentence, it is using AI for your advantage. Therefore, you ought to consider using it when searching for jobs.
Everytalent also increases your chances of getting noticed by recruiters with its job-matching AI function. If your assessment scores match the criteria set by recruiters for specific job posts, your profile gets boosted to the top of their viewing list.
If you incorporate all of these factors into the planning, construction and dissemination of your resume, you will build genuine confidence, expertise and become galvanized so that you can attend interviews with a productive mindset, and make the next small steps towards the big steps. What’s more, you will become more than just ‘the next candidate’: you will have real experience, and a path to follow regardless of the outcome of each job application. If you want to know what sets you apart from your peers, this is a wonderful place to start.