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How to Stand Out as a Job Candidate in Today's Market

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

Know the best ways to make a memorable impression and land the job!

Job markets have become increasingly competitive over time. The most crucial thing for employees entering the field is to stand out as memorable to recruiters. These employers are more interested in prospects that have something extraordinary about them rather than someone who is just described by their qualifications.

Most of all, hiring businesses are searching for well-rounded employees that can add value to their company’s culture and of course their bottom line. How can an applicant develop an approach that sets them up as unique and outstanding? Browse 15 ways that you can differentiate yourself from the competition when going for that ideal career opportunity below.

These are all tips from workforce experts who have years of experience in the hiring and recruiting markets. See what you can improve in your approach to applying for a new job.

15 Ways to Stand Out from Other Applicants:

  1. Do Your Homework. Knowledge of the job expectations allows the candidate to test fit and impress the employer. Research, ask purposeful questions, and impress your interviewer with an understanding of how you would fit into the role.

  2. Show Your Determination. Fortitude is powerfully linked with success in the workplace. Any candidate looking to stand out should exemplify determination through scholastic and work experiences displaying persistent endurance and resilience through adversity.

  3. Make a Memorable Impression. Since many hiring decisions can be influenced by feelings, another way to stand out is to be memorable in your interview. Consider bringing something to the interview that will leave a good impression, like a portfolio of your work or a letter of recommendation.

  4. Simply Ask How You Can Help. If you can ask useful questions and show that you're here to solve the problems of the person you'll be working for as a great employee, you're hired. Plus, you demonstrate you’re already open and keen for feedback.

  5. Use Related Keywords in Profile. Almost all organizations today use Applicant Tracking Systems and keywords are essential in filtering through thousands of resumes. Guarantee that your resume is worded well for the job you are applying for and includes some of the keywords from the job posting.

  6. Develop Your Personal Brand (or Presence Online). Set yourself apart by building your online presence through the creation of informative content in your area of expertise. This works at all levels but is particularly advised for executive leader candidates who can create an audience of talent for future hires for their new employer.

  7. Show Appreciation for Your Employer. Those who truly want to stand out should show that they are brand advocates for their employers, current or former. By promoting company news, articles, and events on social media, prospects display that they will be enthusiastic members of the team.

  8. Ask Bold, Direct Questions. It is important to be ready for the type of questions you will be asked and to have precise questions prepared to ask. The information received can reveal if the job and company align with your values. This also shows your intentions and vision for your career.

  9. Use Your Networks to Your Advantage. Reach out to your network and tell them what you are looking for in a career opportunity. These are people who can see beyond a resume to the essence of your skills and then advocate for you. You’ll probably hear about jobs before they’re officially posted, and companies love to hire people referred in.

  10. Send A Thorough Follow-Up. It's one thing to be a good interviewer, but hiring managers want to know if you can truly do the job. When you send a follow-up "thank you" message, include your previous work examples, or even better, a sample of something that you would do for that job.

  11. Show Your Entrepreneurial Nature. Job market employers today will be looking even more for entrepreneurial nature and creative thinking in their chosen candidates. Share some of your success stories during the COVID situation and your method of solving professional and personal problems.

  12. Customize Your Resume To The Role. Beyond keywords as previously mentioned, personalize your resume for the role that you’re applying for. Highlight the experiences you’ve had involving the requirements of the role. Most notably, if possible, include metrics on how your work positively impacted the company's success.

  13. Be Precise In Your Achievements and Strengths. Many applicants like to use terms such as "reliable" or "team-oriented," but few give actual examples of these things. Beyond mentioning key phrases, include details about projects, achievements, and value-added by your skills and strengths.

  14. Make the Interviewer’s Job Easier. The best interview answers do the work of the hiring manager by helping them understand your experience, skills, and knowledge in the context of the job you’re applying for. Give them an informative answer such as "What you can expect from me in similar situations is...." Help the hiring manager make the right conclusions about how you would fit.

  15. Demonstrate a Growth Mindset. Show your willingness and enthusiasm to move with the times, take on new skills, and expand into new areas of knowledge.

Bonus: Join recruiting networks such as submitting your resume with Mission Box Solutions to be on the radar of recruiting agencies as they look to fill positions for many businesses.

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