Above the rest... How to stand out from the crowd.
Getting a job is a competitive activity at the best of times and standing out can be difficult, especially with all the weird and wonderful skills people are acquiring from the internet and beyond, but there are a few ways you can get noticed by both recruiters and HR teams.
Here are our tips for differentiating yourself from every other piece of paper out there.
1. Reply all...
Well, that's not quite what we mean. But being communicative, open and honest during the recruitment process makes the whole process smoother and more convenient for recruiters, and if you keep them happy, they're more likely to take the time to look after you! Clarity is the key. Be clear about what you're looking for. Be clear about what skills you have. Be clear about any skeletons in your closet. And absolutely be clear about salary expectations. There is nothing more frustrating as a recruiter that putting in a load of effort on a candidate who at the last moment back tracks because it wasn't really what they wanted.
This rule applies to anything written as well. Emails. Cover letters. And above all else, be absolutely clear on your CV. Don't try to play tricks or hide things. Recruiters know all the tricks in the book, and if you're trying to hide something, it will irritate and they will be more likely to write you off.
2. Keep it clean...
Recruiters and HR Managers will often take the time to check out someone's social media accounts if they're interested in the candidate. That's where people hide (or advertise) all their bad behaviour, and it is one of the quickest ways to turn off a prospective employer. If you don't want to cull all of your half-naked party weekend photos, then make your profile super private. That will be less freaky to a recruiter than seeing it all out there. At least you're not showing everything to the whole world and that is something to be respected.
3. Win, win, win.
So often people talk about the general activities of their previous roles and yes, it is important to understand what you've been up to, but recruiters love to hear about the wins. The things you've done that were above and beyond, that made you stand out from your team. So make sure you put them on your CV. And don't just do it with work. If you walked the length of the UK, or swan the channel, that shows some serious drive, and things like that can be a real differentiator.
4. 6 degrees of separation...
Mutual contacts, especially on LinkedIn, look great, and the best way to build up these links are through connections. Strangely, it's a bit of a turn off when you go onto a profile and see that a candidate only has 40/50 connections. It might not be 100% logical, but it gives off the impression that the candidate isn't engaging with the people around them, or that they're not meeting new people, and that isn't really motivating. So if you can get out and meet people, connect with them, and people a solid network, you will find that recruiters will be more attracted to your LinkedIn profile, and inadvertently they'll be more interested in you.
5. Unlock a job with key... words.
A lot of recruiters and hiring managers now use some form of AI or CV parsing to collate information about candidates and match them to a role which means, if you don't have the buzz words both on your CV and on you LinkedIn profile, the search engines and algorithms aren't going to find you. Have a think about the skills terminology that most relate to the role you're looking to get and tailor your CV to that. That way you can get past the recruitment equivalent of HAL and start having a human conversation with the recruiter.
Standing out is always difficult in a competitive job market, but it is possible. You just have to present yourself the best way possible and, strangely, make the lives of both recruiters and hiring managers as easy as possible. You'll be amazed how much smoother the recruitment process is if you do!