Author: Michael Scaletti
Job markets can be extremely competitive, depending on the market, which is why it is so important to make sure that you stand out from the crowd! Even if you think you're overqualified for a position, don't sleep on the fact that a lot of other candidates might be similarly qualified. Don't worry though! There are many ways that you can ensure you have a bit of an edge over the other candidates applying for the role you want.
When it comes to trying to land a position, or even just getting noticed, there are no guarantees, no foolproof way to ensure you are the most noticeable candidate, but it is absolutely worth your time to try as many techniques as possible to get that edge.
This is especially true right now, when the need for work, simply to pay the bills, is mounting, and the number of roles at many companies are shrinking. If you happen to find a position during this period that could lead to a long term advancement towards your career goals, it behooves you to do everything possible to land it, and that includes making sure you stand out.
When looking for work, there are some basic steps you need to master before moving to the next level of your job search.
First thing's first, take a look at your resume. Make sure it is accurate and organized. It doesn't matter how well it might stand out if the information on it is wrong. That said, you do need to try to make it stand out. One of the easiest ways to go about this is to find ways to professionally enhance its appearance. Some simple color blocking or creative use of white space can go a long way to make your resume look more professional and appealing while also helping it stand out from the crowd. Here's a great resource to get you started.
Once you have your resume in order, it's time to start looking for other ways to stand out. For example, do some research and attempt to find out who your direct supervisor would be in this position. If you can find some contact information, reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to give you a bit of insight into what the role might entail, what working with them might be like, and what, exactly, they are looking for from the person who fills that role. They might not get back to you or be willing to answer your questions, but if they are this can be a huge step up for you, as you get a head start on building a rapport with a person who is likely integral to the hiring process.
Another way to find yourself an edge is to focus on numbers. Remember that many companies are run and managed based on analytics. If you can show the impact your occupation of previous roles had on the businesses you worked for in pure math, hiring managers are more likely to take you seriously. The bottom line is that it doesn't matter how beautiful your resume is if you can't show that you would be a boon to the company, and numbers are one of the best ways to do that.
On the topic of numbers, don't limit yourself! Remember that finding work is often a numbers game. While utilizing the tips herein can help you stand out, as mentioned previously there are no guarantees. Apply to as many positions as you can, preferably on a consistent basis. A good rule of thumb is to try to submit at least one resume or application for every workday of your job search. You will rapidly find the number of applications you've submitted ballooning, and this, in turn, can help you feel accomplished, which can then make you feel motivated to do more! It's a rewarding cycle.
Finally, don't overlook a staffing agency like The Job Shop. While you may have done all the basics right, what you don't have is a long-term relationship already established with the companies you are applying to. The Job Shop has spent the last 23 years establishing and maintaining those relationships. Companies trust us to provide them with excellent candidates, so when we present you you can rest assured that you already have at least one leg up on the other candidates applying for the position.