MT Apri candidate blog

Stand out from the candidate crowd

For job seekers, today’s job market is competitive. At the same time, it is a skills short market. There is a high demand for specific skills or expertise but a limited supply of qualified candidates possessing or showcasing those skills. Hiring managers seek top talent from tech and law to HR and finance.

For job seekers, this situation can present both opportunities and challenges. As businesses recruit more remote employees, they realise they can recruit workers nationwide, heightening competition. The most critical thing for candidates entering the job market is to stand out as exceptional to recruiters. These employers are more interested in candidates with something interesting about them than in someone defined by their qualifications. Above all, hiring companies seek well-rounded people who can add value to their businesses. How can you develop an approach that makes you unique and outstanding? To shine and capture the attention of recruiters and hiring managers, here are three areas to focus on:

1. Be uniquely you

Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” And while he might not have been talking about recruitment, it is good advice for your job hunt. You’re a great candidate for that role but you’re not the only one. Yet your unique skills, experience, knowledge, and personality will set you apart. When applying for a role:

  • Think about what makes you unique. No one has the same skill set and background as you do.
  • Consider your expertise and experiences and how they make you an ideal candidate for the role.
  • Highlight your character traits and skills that will enable you to contribute to the company.
  • Select examples from your background, and reference the positive outcomes from previous jobs.
  • Showcase some of your accomplishments.

Whether in the application or interview stage, showcase your skills, knowledge, and experience.

2. Customise your applications and CVs

Tailor your job application and CV to the specific role you are applying for. Often, your application or CV will be only glanced at. The last thing you want to do is send a generic CV and cover letter to different employers. Employers don’t only want to know about your skills and experiences. They want to know why you have applied and want to work for them.

  • Take time to narrow your search to the positions you're interested in and then tailor accordingly.
  • Make your CV easy to scan and read. The more information you can get across during that glance, the better.
  • Use short sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Use subheadings and bulleted lists.
  • Use the keywords in the job specification.

If you can send one strong application every day, you’ll have a better chance of getting a first interview.

3.The interview stages

When you have an interview lined up, learn about the company. An organisation’s website is a place to research company culture. Pay attention to the mission statement, news, and careers section. The mission statement will give you insight into their values and priorities. You can also search the company name in Google News to keep up-to-date on breaking developments, including mergers or acquisitions.

Follow the company on their social media channels. Then look at their competition to better understand the industry overall. To learn more about the interview process and the culture read Glassdoor reviews.

An interview is the perfect way for you to stand out among other candidates. It’s boring for the interviewer if the candidate just recites the About Us page. Read the annual report instead to get a feel for the type of language the business uses. You’ll also find out more about goals and achievements.

During interviews, avoid generic responses. Instead, share thoughtful, honest responses that reflect your unique skills and personality. When answering interview questions, the STAR technique will help keep answers concise and informative. When giving a real-life example that demonstrates a skill, these points can guide you:

  • Situation (your job/life experience at the time)
  • Tasks (what you needed to do)
  • Actions (how you did it)
  • Results (how it turned out)

Remember to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the company and role. Express your eagerness to contribute and be part of their team.

Post-interview, reaching out to your potential will leave a lasting impression. A simple way to do this is to email the hiring manager following the interview. Referencing parts of the conversation will show you were engaged throughout the process.

From tailoring your applications to showcasing your unique skills and experiences, these actionable tips will enable you to position yourself as the top choice for employers. 

As a skilled professional, you’re navigating a crowded field of applicants, all vying for the same jobs. Your potential employer has a lot of applications to wade through. You need yours to be in the ‘yes’ folder, not in the recycle bin. Despite challenges, opportunities exist for those who can showcase their unique skills, experiences, and personalities.

Let Meraki Talent help you navigate this landscape and connect you with opportunities that match your strengths and aspirations. Meraki Talent provides a world-class recruitment service to some of the top employers. We cover Accountancy, Finance, Law, HR, and technology. Contact us today to start your journey to career success.

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