Standing Out Among Candidates

You may have the education, experience, and key skills for the job, but so do fifty other candidates. Even if there’s only five other candidates, unless you put yourself in the front of the pack, the job will go to someone else. So how do you accomplish this fete? Listen to what HR professionals have to say about stand-out candidates.

Dangling the right bait on the end of your fishing pole.
Cover Letters:
• Target you cover letter to the specific company and position. Yes, this means more work and time on your part, but HR is perfectly aware of that fact. They are searching for candidates who take time to research their company and the opening.
• Add a PS – they are always read. This is your chance to highlight yourself in a brief, attention grabbing comment. It can be a few words of a testimonial from a past employer or a headline of a major accomplishment.
• Use perfect spelling and grammar: Sadly, the standard is so low, that doing this automatically puts your resume at the top.

• Once again, make a time investment and target your resume specifically to the open position by using key words that match the job requirements.
• Show – rather than tell. Give specific examples of professional achievements.
• Include volunteer activities – especially those, which connect to your field of professional expertise.
Build a Professional Brand:
• Develop a clean, professional- friendly network, utilizing LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
• Participate in professional discussions
• Post articles of industry-related interest

Knowing when to jerk the line and catch the big one.

• The top candidates are confident of whom they are and what they have to offer. They consider the questions thoughtfully and confidently respond with prompt, succinct answers. They exude patient, controlled energy in both their body and verbal language.
• Reveal your intellectual curiosity. Candidates, who dedicate themselves to their field, continually learning and moving forward via webinars, conferences, MOOC, etc., capture the interest of HR.
• Share memorable stories that exhibit your specific skills. For example, shortly before I resigned from my position as buyer for a health and wellness center, they adopted a completely new system. I had six weeks to learn the new system, create an operation’s manual, and train my replacement. I passed the “test” with flying colors and before deadline. That’s a story worth sharing in an interview. It confirms my abilities and helps HR to remember me.
• Ask questions that give evidence that you researched their company and the position. If you don’t care enough about the job to invest some time prior to the interview, HR doesn’t care enough to discover why they should hire you.
• Take a portfolio with you to the interview. Include your best work – if you’re in graphic design, freelance writing, etc. Include news articles, event brochures, and other examples of speaking engagements, awards, and additional evidence of your accomplishments.

Follow up with a written thank you or email:

• Thank them for the interview
• Reiterate why you are right for the job. Be specific and concise – this isn’t your resume
• Communicate new information when appropriate
• Confirm you appreciation, let them know you are looking forward to the opportunity of working for their company, and share when you will be following-up.

Ok, so you’re tempted to write this off as the same old advice. Frankly, it is the same – because it works. There isn’t twenty different ways to polish your shoes and make them shine. It simply takes investing your time and commitment into getting the job done right that makes it happen.

Don’t be looking for the easy way out or that’s where you’ll be – on the way out. Contact Springborn Staffing and make the time investment. We will help you reel in your dream job in Portland and Bangor, Maine.

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