In our digital world, all forms of business can be conducted online. Of course, there are many benefits to this, but at times there are drawbacks as well. There is something to be said for the convenience of applying for a new job while sitting on the sofa in your fuzzy slippers. Oftentimes, however, an online job search can lead to feelings of frustration and discouragement. It’s hard to shine as a superstar applicant when you’re only one name in a pool of resumes. Even after you’ve been selected from that pool to move on to the next steps, figuring out how to stand out from the rest can be tricky.
Just because you meet all of the requirements for the position you’re interested in doesn’t necessarily mean that the job is yours. Qualified applicants can be passed over for jobs they would excel at because they failed to stand out during the application process. Whether you’re just starting your online job search or have been filling out dozens of job applications with no luck, these tips will give you an edge on the competition.
6 Ways To Stand Out During The Job Application Process
Tailor Your Cover Letter and Resume
Resumes that stand out are tailored to specifically illustrate why you’re qualified for the role you’re interested in. Utilize keywords from the job description and list professional accomplishments that demonstrate your capabilities as they relate to the responsibilities of the job.
Construct a cover letter that gives your future employer a peek at your personality. Imagine what it must be like to sit at a desk sorting through that pool of resumes. Your cover letter will likely be the first introduction to you, so catch their attention immediately by setting yourself apart from the rest. Don’t shy away from using small bits of humor or anecdotes to stand out (or even entertain). Keep in mind that you must always remain professional; the line between attention-grabbing and unprofessional can be a fine one.
Customizing your resume and cover letter will require thoughtful consideration, but it will be well worth it when it sets you apart from your competition!
Do Your Research
Before speaking to a single person from the organization you’re applying to, make sure you have an understanding of the business model, mission, values, corporate culture, organizational structure, etc. Show that you’ve taken the time to learn about the company itself, as opposed to just the position you’ll be filling.
Take a look at social media profiles, the website’s service or product pages, publications, and team members. This will give you a grasp on how your role and team fit into the broader organization. In addition, be prepared to speak about current events taking place in the industry as well as demonstrate ways your current skill set would be an asset.
Whether it’s responding to an email or arriving early to an in-person interview, it’s crucial to be timely. There’s no easier way to show your enthusiasm and eagerness throughout the entire application process than by being responsive.
It’s possible that as you conduct your online job search, you’ll already have a full-time job. Make sure that your recruiter and interviewer(s) are aware of this. This way, the reason is easily understood if you’re unable to respond to an email immediately or lack total flexibility when scheduling an interview.
Personalize Your Responses
Show you’re engaged throughout your recruitment process by following up with a personalized note after each step. Either electronic or handwritten will work just fine. Refer to personal anecdotes or remark on specific statements that stuck with you during your conversations.
It might seem old-fashioned, but a simple thank you note with a few sentences specific to your unique experience will ensure that you stick out as a candidate. This tactic will also provide you with an opportunity to express how excited you are about the position and the prospect of working with such talented individuals (aka your potential future peers)!
Demonstrate Your Ability To Add Value
Resumes that stand out, especially when submitted online, detail how the individual added value to their previous organizations. That being said, it’s important to quantify the impact you made in previous positions.
This means you’ll need to get specific. By what percentage did your individual sales increase overall revenue? By what dollar amount did you decrease costs? How many new clients did you bring on each year? Be honest and detailed. Then be ready to answer questions about how you accomplished these achievements.
Display A Growth Mindset
It’s not just about how to stand out during the application process. It’s also about knowing how to stand out as you interview. There’s no better way to accomplish this than proving to your interviewer that you’re able to establish and achieve both long-term and short-term goals. If the conversation naturally flows in the direction of your goals, be sure to communicate your professional aim and anticipated career path.
Emphasize your desire to grow, not necessarily in the context of rising through the ranks. Instead, discuss your plan for innovating within your position, your willingness to take on additional tasks or projects, and desire to hone your skill set.
If you’re asked the classic question about your greatest strength and weakness, give an honest answer and relay the tangible steps you have taken to improve your weakness. This displays your willingness to learn new skills and challenge current working patterns — thus, always raising the bar for yourself. Speak to how this mindset has allowed you to add value in your previous positions as well as how you will use it to benefit your future employer.
Join A Team Ready To Invest In You
The application and interview experience can be exhausting. However, the entire process is worth the effort when you find an organization ready to invest in you and willing to be there as you take the next steps along your career path. If you’re looking to work with a team of visionaries that values teamwork and dependability, check out Southern Management’s current job openings.
What makes our company different? The culture of care we’ve built.
We operate 75 apartment communities and strive to treat our residents and employees with the highest integrity and genuine concern. Because of this, we retain 90% of our team, year over year, and we think that statistic speaks for itself. If you’re ready to join the Southern Management team, learn more about our current job openings today.