Looking for a new job is full of challenges all of which can be distilled to one essential struggle: making yourself stand out to recruiters. Even the most technically qualified candidate still has to impress a recruiter who is likely already inundated with nearly identical resumes. Keep reading for seven tips to help catch the eye of executive recruiters.
1. Do Your Homework and Be Prepared
Winging it might work out for a weddings toast (it might not), but it certainly won’t for a job interview. You already know that your resume and cover letter need to be tailored to the position you’re applying to. Your interview performance is no different. Show recruiters that you understand the company and its history. Recruiters are likelier to hire someone who shows they’re not just interested in a job, but a career.
2. Show Off Your Personality
You are more than just a resume. The best recruiters seriously consider personality when hiring, so let yours shine. In part, this means relaxing during your interview, showing enthusiasm and talking about your ideas, successes, and goals. It also means providing links to your portfolios and social media profiles. Be upfront with all the information recruitment teams are looking for. It should go without saying that you should clean up your social media profiles before sharing them with recruiters.
3. Project a Can-Do Attitude
All the qualifications in the world mean nothing with a bad attitude. In your cover letter, in your correspondence, and in your interview, project positivity and enthusiasm for the position and company you’re applying to. Attitudes are contagious and a healthy dose of passion and drive can trump experience when recruiters are comparing candidates.
4. Have a Real Conversation: Don’t Use Your Resume and Cover Letter as a Script
If you’re in an interview, there’s no need to list off bullet points from your resume and cover letter, your recruiter has already read both them. That’s why you’re there! Hand-in-hand with showing off your personality, sharing a real conversation shows off your dynamism and dimensionality.
5. Ask Questions Beyond Salary and Benefit Details
Prove to your recruiter that you’re not interested in a job, but the job that they’re hiring for. Certainly be prepared to discuss salary and benefits (remember, do your homework!), but focusing too narrowly on those topics will suggest to a recruiter that your interest in the position is solely monetary. Take the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the company and the position you’re applying to. Recruiters want to hire someone interested in the company and deliverables and you’ll gain a better sense whether the position is a good fit for you.
6. Show What You Can Offer the Company in Terms of Actual Work and Deliverables
Recruiters will want to know in measurable terms what you can offer the company. Answer the question before it’s asked. This can mean identifying a problem or need the company may have and outlining how you might resolve the problem or satisfy the need. Similarly, you can provide an example of the work you might do if hired: outline a marketing strategy; design a landing page; write a press release.
7. Focus on Accomplishments Rather than Skills
Job listings call for desired skills and characteristics. As a result, recruiters tend to see scores of similar looking resumes that simply list relevant skills. A great way to make you and your resume stand out is to describe measurable accomplishments made possible by your possession of those skills. How many people did you manage? How many clients did you serve? How much did you save or earn for the company? Precise information will make you stand out and give recruiters a much more precise sense of your capabilities.
Paper qualifications can only take an applicant so far on their own merit. If you have the experience, give yourself the edge and use these tips to shine in the eyes of recruiters.