When you’re applying for a job, standing out from the crowd can always be a challenge, especially for an extremely competitive position. When there are dozens of applications, hiring managers often look for those that can differentiate themselves or leave a lasting impression. When tackling the application, shake off the intimidation you’re feeling and focus on doing what you need to separate yourself from the pack. Here are five tips to make yourself a stand-out candidate:
Polish your social media presence
Recruiters spend hours scouring social media sites in search of the right candidate. Though social media can be a fun outlet used for personal enjoyment, any social media you have that is public and uses your professional name should be thought of as a marketing tool. If you’ve never considered it this way, take some time to review your timelines and think of them the way an HR staff member or recruiter might see them – you don’t want to be remembered as the candidate who has had one too many boozy nights or the applicant who throws temper tantrums about their colleagues and supervisors online.
Conduct in-depth research of the company and team
You should never hesitate to go the extra mile and show some initiative, such as sharing some materials or information that a potential employer might care about. Understand the company and available role and demonstrate the gaps you could see yourself filling in your cover letter. Once you land an interview, ask who you will be meeting with and do extra research on those individuals so you know your audience well and will be able to connect with each of them in a personal way. By showing you have ample knowledge of the company, you’ll be able to shine.
Offer a solution or sample project
One of the best ways to get noticed is to get down to business right away and offer a suggestion to “pain points” the company you are applying to may have. Another possibility is to present an interesting perspective of the business or even a project that you think may be useful for the company. You can even take things one step further by completing a sample specifically for that employer. Make a clear connection between the company needs and your specific skills and accomplishments, and you’ll be a head above the other candidates.
Craft a winning résumé and cover letter
When you’re writing your cover letter, remember that the hiring manager is likely going to be reading tons of them. So, while you want to make the letter professional, you also want to infuse some of your own personality into it and make it engaging. Also, provide data in your résumé bullet points such as the number of how people your work impacted and the percentages you met for target goals By quantifying your accomplishments, you allow the hiring manager to picture the level of work and responsibility you put in to achieve this.
Follow-up the right way
On top of providing well-thought and succinct answers to the questions asked, a personal thank-you note referencing specific parts of the conversation you had with the hiring manager could make that difference. If you haven’t heard anything from the company in about week or within the projected timeframe, they provided you with during the interview, do reach out to them and check in on the status of the hiring decision. Even if you do not receive a speedy response, it is all part of continuing to convey enthusiasm for a role.