Making your candidacy for a role stand out among the competition isn’t as difficult as you may think, according to ForceBrands’ Digital Sales Strategist Derek Sable who assists clients with the firm’s online job boards and comprehensive range of services.
“Getting noticed by employers starts with the very basics: your résumé and cover letter,” Sable said. “It’s so important to make the right impression on a résumé. The résumé is not only this quantitative piece of paper filled with experiences — employers use it to gauge the quality and the simple presentation of how it’s put together.”
A great résumé is the key to opening up the conversation that could land you — or cost you — your dream job. So edit wisely.
Read on to discover how you can get yourself noticed (on a single sheet of paper) and then continue to stand out among a crowd of applicants.
1. Format Your Résumé: “Spelling Errors Are Career Enders”
Hiring managers will throw out résumés that aren’t properly formatted. While people know that you are more than a piece of paper, employers only have this to rely on for a first impression. LinkedIn is important — it’s an especially good tool for junior-level hiring — but it’s more important to have a solid, properly formatted résumé with accurate data in all the right places.”
2. Personalize Your Cover Letter: “It Shows Your Professionalism”
Cover letters are great tools to separate and differentiate yourself from other applicants. They are important but they can also be equally detrimental if you don’t make them unique. Make them personal, not generic.
3. Follow Up: “Be Genuine, Not Overbearing”
Following up with your point of contact for the role is another opportunity for you to continue to separate yourself and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job. If you follow up and you do hear back, be sure you thank them for their time. If you don’t hear back, be mindful that it takes time. There are companies that respond to candidates in 24 hours, and others in 24 weeks. And remember, responsiveness is a two-way street. One of the biggest complaints employers have, according to Sable, is candidates not responding promptly. Getting in touch after that 24-hour window hinders your candidacy.
4. Make Meaningful Connections: “Get LinkedIn”
Connect with who you think is the hiring manager at that company on LinkedIn. In other words, seek them out and actively network with them.
“Always go above and beyond as much as you can to stand out,” Sable said. “But remember, you won’t get the opportunity to do so without establishing a great initial impression on paper first.”