Resume writing and career advice
job search tips/workplace trends
Featuring career experts, recruiters, hiring managers and decision makers who help you get hired
The beginning of a new calendar year normally marks the beginning of the job search rush. January and February might even be considered the busiest months of the year with regard to the number of applications that are submitted through job search portals. Coming out of the holiday season, people are eager to refocus on their search. Thousands of people set New Year's Resolutions in January, and finding a more fulfilling or better paying job is high on the list of popular resolutions. Employers often have to wait for budgeting approval at the end of the year, meaning they hold off on posting new jobs until the turn of the new year.
According to a U.S. News and World Report*, “Simply being qualified won’t get you an interview in today’s job market. Employers are being inundated with applications from qualified candidates. If you don’t differentiate yourself, you will not attract the attention of hiring managers or recruiters." Therefore, you must find ways to stand out by proving your value and worth to potential employers.
What will it take to be noticed? Below are 4 tips on how to stand out during your job search, from the experts at IMPACT Group HR, an organization that works with leading companies around the world to coach employees and their families through every career transition
1. Your value: Consider the value you bring beyond your prior work history. In some cases, you may have to think deeply about this question to find an answer. For instance, living in a foreign country and not speaking the native language would be considered an obstacle. But, perhaps you speak a language that is valuable to the company. If you speak Chinese and the company has dealings in Asia, you may be of greater value to them then if you spoke the native language. Find out what your target company's mission statement or business model is and think about what hard / soft skills you have that are either directly or indirectly related. Make sure to include all of this in your CV / resume. Keep notes on your thoughts so you can convey the same information during your interview.
2. Your CV/resume: Due to a high volume of applications being submitted, you will need to catch the reader's attention very quickly. Always err on the side of professionalism when it comes to font and structure of your CV / resume, but do use metrics – concrete examples of the quantifiable affects you have had on your previous company, team or department. List these closer to the top of your CV / resume. Adding numbers and specifics to your accomplishments will help you stand out to the hiring manager.
3. Videos and visuals: If appropriate in your country, you may consider using more than just text type in your CV / resume. Infographics, colour and company logos can tell your story in an engaging way. You may also wish to send a video "thank you" message after your interview, instead of the standard email follow up.
4. LinkedIn excellence: You will most likely be "googled" by the employer, and LinkedIn will be one of the top results if so. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and engaging. Work with your IMPACT Group coach to create a compelling headline and summary of your experience. A professional profile picture is key, as well.
Remember to take advantage of every opportunity to showcase what you have to offer beyond your qualifications. Rising above the crowd and making an impact on a potential employer during these busy job search months may take a little more time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end!
*U.S. News and World Report, "What's Different About Job Searching in 2015?"
About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes and cover letters, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for the Star Tribune, Flexjobs.com, Ziprecruiter.com and more.