July 26, 2016 – Vicki Pero – Insights
Ask the HR Expert – How Can I Stand Out as a Top Candidate?
Candidates ask us all of the time what they can do to stand out from the sea of applicants and land that desired next career opportunity. Here are some things you may want to consider if you’re ready to make a career move.
Keep your LinkedIn profile and resume up to date.
This is especially important if you are only passively considering potential opportunities. When we are hired to fill a position, the first thing we do is scan resumes in our database, and LinkedIn profiles. If your information isn’t up to date, you may not appear to be qualified for a role that is perfect for you.
Once you submit an application, everything you do is being evaluated.
I don’t say this to make you paranoid, but rather to help you recognize that every move you make during the recruitment process can help you stand out in a positive or negative way. Here are a few things you can do to stand out in a positive way:
- Send thank you notes / emails after each interview.
- Format emails in a professional manner including a salutation, message body and closing.
- If you’re on a phone interview try not to multi task, you may come across as distracted and the screener will pick up on the background noise.
- Research the company where you are applying.
- If you are using a cover letter, proofread it from start to finish to make sure it doesn’t include references to other positions or typos.
If you’re actively employed, always factor in a proper notice period when asked about your available start date for a new position.
Candidates who are eager to move on and want to convey enthusiasm for the new opportunity will sometimes say they can start immediately. This can actually count against you, because it brings about questions of commitment and loyalty. If there’s something unique about your current employment situation that would allow you to be available more quickly, provide these details as part of your response.
Do you have a question we can answer? If so, post it here, or drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.