Separate Yourself from Other Candidates

job skillsYou have just come across this amazing job opportunity and have spent hours revising your resume. At this point, it seems like you’ve covered it all between tweaking your resume, perfecting every word in your cover letter and providing an impeccable list of references. But is it enough to set yourself apart as a job seeker? Today’s employment landscape is driven by competitive and eager job seekers looking to make headway in the real world. So, before clicking “submit” button on your next application, ask yourself, what sets me apart from other candidates?

The truth is, there will be other candidates who have similar qualifications that you do. To be brave in your job search, you will need to portray your qualifications outside of your resume and cover letter. The standard ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t quite cut it anymore. Each of your resumes should be carefully crafted to the job you are applying for. Nationally recognized writer, John Kalusa reveals “80% of candidates don’t have a real chance of landing an interview because they don’t do anything to set themselves apart from the crowd.” If you’re looking to pursue a career in marketing, demonstrate your value and convey your strengths by providing a portfolio, a writing sample, or a letter of recommendation. Keep in mind that the type of document you submit can vary depending on your field of interest. Here is a little secret: make your resume and cover letter stand out take by incorporating keywords from the job description. Embedding these keywords will significantly increase the amount of search results you show up in when a recruiter is sifting through resumes.

Now that you have landed an interview there are a couple things you can do to prepare. Find out the latest industry updates and details on the company history and then apply these to the challenges you will encounter throughout your role. Conduct thorough research on the organization and learning about the company culture on sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed. See how active they are on Social Media. Do they have any reviews and what type of content is being posted? Are they involved in any type of community outreach? This will give you a better idea of the company culture before you even walk in the door.

During the interview process, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, questions. The interview process is a two way street, so aim to develop at least three strong wrap-up questions to address to the hiring manager. Questions such as “How do you foresee my role contributing to the growth of the organization?” or “What is the next step in this process?” exemplifies your interest and relays signs of initiative. Nicole Lindsay, a reputable career development expert, recommends using the STAR method when it comes to responding to interview questions. “Set up the situation and the task that you were required to complete provide the interviewer with background context, but spend the bulk of your time describing what you actually did (the action) and what you achieved (the result).” For example instead of listing “I was responsible for eliminating errors on invoices,” you would say “In one month, I streamlined the process which saved my team 10 hours each month and reduced errors on invoices by 5%.” Employers not only want to see specific actions you took in your previous role but want to see the results that came from these as well.

Post interview, don’t forget to follow up with a thank-you note. In the end, hard work and attention to detail will pay off! When it comes to advancing your career, are you going to make the time to invest in yourself?

About TRC Staffing Services, Inc.

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