In a competitive market, standing out (the right way) to employers can really put you ahead of your competition. In a digital application world where you feel like you're just sending your applications in to a black hole, it feels really good to know that you're doing the right things to get a hiring manager to remember you.
5 ways to stand out:
1) Edit your resume carefully. The number one piece of feedback we get from recruiters and hiring managers is they're tired of typos. They see them all the time and one way you can definitely stand out is to make sure you have a perfect resume or application. We have a whole video dedicated to how to make those kinds of edits properly but make sure you take the time to do it up front because otherwise they probably won't consider you for the job.
2) Be available. No matter how awesome you are, the employer can't hire you if you're not available for the evening shift on Saturday, and that's the time they need you to work. So don't say you're not available on weekends just because you want to hang out with your buddies if it's more important that you get a job.
3) Customize your applications. If they allow attachments, attach a custom cover letter. Tell them how excited you are to work at whatever job it is that they're offering. Let them know the company name, the position you're applying to and specifically why you think you would be great for that exact job. It tells the hiring manager that they're not getting the same application as everybody else so you're probably really interested in working for them.
Just a word of warning on this one, we have heard from some job seekers who got a little mixed up and this can be easy to do. If you're customizing cover letters or applications to specific employers, be careful not to send the application that you sent to Employer A over to Employer B without editing, otherwise you're probably not going to get hired at that other job.
4) Follow up. This is a great tactic as long as they don't tell you not to. If a job post says specifically no calls or follow ups, absolutely don't. It will show that you don't follow directions or you didn't read the directions in the first place and neither one of those are good. But if the job posting doesn't say you can't follow up, it's fair game. Look up the information for the contact on your favorite search engine. Just find it and call or email. Email can be better because it's less intrusive and the hiring manager can get back to it. Or, dress professionally and stop by with a list of your recommendations and references. Either way, whenever you follow up, don't do it at the busiest time for that business. If it's a buffet restaurant, do not show up at breakfast, lunch or dinner. If it is a salon, don't show up during the busy lunch hour or right after work when they're going to be slammed. Use common sense to figure out when their hiring managers are going to have the most time and try to show up then.
5) Fill employment gaps. If you've been out of work for a while or you're looking for your first job and you don't have any experience or you have a large gap in your resume, use volunteer experience to fill in that time so that they know you're doing something proactive and continuing to build experience.
Have a question? Head over to the Snagajob YouTube channel and leave us a video response with the question you want answered. If your question is selected, we will send you a gift card and include your video in our response!