Blog PostStand Out as a Job Seeker: 7 Tips to Get Noticed
Posted on: June 20, 2016
Before the era of online job applications, standing out as a job seeker was a more direct process. You could deliver your resume by hand, send a portfolio with creative packaging, or personalize your resume design.
But now, hitting the “submit” button on a company’s website is like sending your hopes and dreams into a black hole. Have you done everything you can to make sure your application stands out? Is your application going to even make it into the hands of a human being, or is it destined to be processed and lost in a database somewhere?
Before you submit your next job application, here are 7 strategies to make sure you get noticed by potential employers.
How to Stand Out in the Crowd of Online Job Seekers
- Brand Yourself
In addition to your resume, you can strengthen your profile as a job seeker by building other online resources for employers to learn more about you as a candidate. These may include a website, blog, online portfolio, and additional social media accounts that are relevant to your industry, like Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
- Request Testimonials
Ask your colleagues and clients to write a brief testimonial that mentions their experience working with you, and a key achievement that you accomplished. You can use these testimonials in your LinkedIn profile, on your website, or as a supplemental file that can be submitted with an online job application. All employers want to know that you will be enjoyable to work with, and will accomplish the work that you say you can do. While they will certainly still call for references, testimonials can be a way to present a bit more about your personality and expertise early on in the application process.
- Get Someone to Refer You
Only 7 percent of job seekers surveyed viewed referrals as their top source for finding a job, however 71 percent of HR professionals surveyed rated employee referrals as the best source for finding candidates. (source)
Check your LinkedIn connections. Do you know anyone who works at your target employer? Could your neighbor or friend put you in touch with a human resources contact or an executive at the company? Even if it’s not a guarantee of an interview, a personal connection often means a much better chance of getting your application reviewed by the appropriate person.
- Keep Adding to Your Skills
More than 40 percent of job seekers have never invested in online training. This is a great way to stand out. Most industries are constantly evolving. New technologies and methods become quickly indispensable. Can you think of any complementary or new skills that you could learn or strengthen? Take an online class or training session, or go through an online certification course to add skills to your resume.
- Be Aware of HR’s Top Skills Wish-List
Human resources professionals most often look for candidates that:
- Are excellent communicators
- Are highly adaptability, and
- Are results-driven
Highlighting these traits in your resume and cover letter may help your application to get noticed more quickly.
- Be Strategic in Your Wording
Pay close attention to the wording that the employer used in their job description. They may be using a computer program to scan all applications for specific key words, such as “marketing proposal”, “business development” or “managed a team”. You may want to use some of the important phrases that refer to desired skills or traits in your own application to help you get past that initial screening – but only if they are relevant to your experience.
Get inspiration from our list of “Top Eye-Catching Words for Your Resume”.
- Carefully Manage your Online Presence
Every social profile is a representation of you both as an individual and as a job candidate. It is a valuable process to review all of your public online profiles and consider making them private, editing them to remove inappropriate or highly personal information, and looking at them from the perspective of a potential employer. Does your online presence represent you in the way you want to be seen professionally?
When it comes time to interview, check out some additional great ideas from U.S. News & World Report for how to differentiate yourself from other candidates and make the best possible impression.
Sherpa LLC can help job seekers make sure they are putting their best foot forward during the online job search process. Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sherpa LLC is a recruiting firm that specializes in the accounting and finance, human resources, executive support, technology and project management industries. Contact us today for guidance and help with your job search.