How to stand out during your job search
Finding a job is hard. It's repetitive. It's soul-destroying. However, standing out from the crowd helps ease the process and can land you a job that much quicker. Optimizing your resume and maintaining a professional attitude ensures a quick and (relatively) painless job search experience.
Job searches are hard. They are repetitive. They are time-consuming and soul-draining. Filling a job is hard. It's repetitive. It's time-consuming and soul-draining. Much like ripping off a band-aid, it's in everyone's best interest to get a job search over and done with as soon as possible.
Optimizing your resume and maintaining a professional attitude ensures a quick and (relatively) painless job search experience. We've put together some quick tips to help you stand out during your job search:
1. Do your homework
One of the first questions recruiters will ask you is how much you know about the job/industry/and the hiring company. While we mostly do this as an ice-breaker, the candidates that do demonstrate their knowledge are the ones best remembered.
Take a quick look at the company website and social media channels to gain an understanding of a company's background, goals, and news. A little bit of time spent in this area goes a long way!
2. Keep your resume formatting simple
No matter where you submit your application – either through Indeed, LinkedIn, or the website – your resume is scanned by our candidate management software and displayed to our recruitment team as plain text.
This means that if you spend hours carefully formatting an elaborate design, chances are our recruiters don’t get to see all your hard work. In fact, unusual formatting sometimes prevents the system from effectively scanning the content of your resume and we end up seeing what looks like a cryptic alien message:
Unfortunately for all you creative types, resume scanners on candidate management systems are standard recruitment practice regardless of the industry you’re looking to work in.
However, there are still a few simple ways you can ensure a problem-free application:
- Pick a font and stick to it
- Avoid using images and photos
- Submit your resume as a PDF or text document - not as a blurry cellphone pic - please
3. Keep the structure simple
Our technical recruiters screen hundreds of resumes a day – each! With so many applications to review, the recruitment team doesn’t have the bandwidth to labor over individual resumes that have blocks of text the same length as a master thesis.
Following these guidelines will make it easy for recruiters to assess the resume and quickly move you through the hiring process:
a. Include your name and contact details at the top. Adding the city you’re based in helps recruiters match you to the right jobs in your area
b. Next, create a list of your key skills and areas of expertise
Candidates can catch a recruiter’s attention by re-using the skills listed in the job description. Doing this shows that you’ve carefully read the requirements of the role before applying and makes it easy for a recruiter to quickly glance at your resume.
For example, if the job mentions the ability to carry objects over long distances or calls for a safe approach to work, you can include the fact that you’ve received manual handling training and OSHA certification. If the job description asks for a ‘mechanical aptitude’, don’t be afraid to actually list that on your resume.
If you have an electrical background your skills summary may look like the example below:
If you have more specialized experience and expertise on tools, include the specific toolsets you’re trained on:
Put this section at the very top to showcase your skills and stand out from the crowd!
c. Then, list out your work history
- Put your work experience first. Start with your most recent job.
- Include dates and locations for each employer. Make sure the dates line up and that you address any employment gaps.
- Finish off your resume by including your education and training.
4. Always act like you're speaking directly to the hiring manager
We get it. This probably isn't the only job you've applied for. We're not the only recruiter you've spoken to today. However, we are the eyes and ears of our hiring managers and how you present yourself is how we describe you to the rest of the team. Put your best foot forward whether we're speaking over the phone or through email.
Don't hesitate to ask questions about the job or work environment. Polite, keen, and interested candidates are always the most memorable.
5. Stick to your commitments
Immediately after a recruiter looks at your resume, they’ll get in touch with you to organize a discussion regarding your application. If you agree to a call on Tuesday at 5pm, make sure you’re available to take a call on Tuesday at 5pm.
Similarly, when you’ve agreed to attend an in-person interview and find that you can’t make it or you’ve changed your mind about the job, please contact us as soon as possible. Hiring managers are taking valuable time out of their busy schedules to meet you, just as you are taking valuable time out of your own schedule to meet them. Keep everyone happy by giving advance notice of any changes to your circumstances.
Standard practice is to archive candidates that decide not to show up or communicate their absence – meaning the candidate loses out on future opportunities too:
Don't let this happen to you! When in doubt, contact us as soon as you can. We're always happy to help.
- Keep it simple. Submit your resume in a PDF or text document format.
- Keep in the spotlight. Tailor your application to the job description by including relevant skills at the top of your resume.
- Keep in touch. Let us know your circumstances and avoid ghosting your interviewer.
And as a bonus extra, click the image below or the link here to get a sample resume you can use to shape your own job applications!
Share these tips with your network!
With over 25 years of experience in high-tech industry, we are experts in matching your talents to suitable vacancies and providing exemplary services to our clients.
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