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How to stand out in a noisy job market (part 1)

Posted on 07 June 2023

How to stand out in a noisy job market (part 1)

8-minute read

Are you tired of being just another voice in the crowd? Do you find yourself lost in the sea of job applications? Well, fear not friends, for we have brought together some extremely talented minds from the talent acquisition community to share their insights on how you can stand out in today’s noisy job market!

In part 1, we'll be chatting with Victor Gowrava from Konux, Mirco Hellekes from Giant Swarm, and Christina Schlaeger from Exotec. These three have seen a great deal and have been kind enough to share some incredible tips to help you stand out in a crowded field of candidates.

But don’t worry, we won’t be suggesting anything too crazy, like sending your resume on a cake (although we have seen this work before). Instead, we’ll be bringing forward practical and actionable advice that you can implement right away to boost your chances of success.

So, grab yourself a coffee, sit back, and get ready to learn directly from those that are responsible for reviewing applications like yours.

 

Applying with intent

One surefire way to truly stand out is to apply to each opening with true intent. This doesn’t mean using the quick apply feature on every keyworded opening you find, but instead, understanding and researching each opening and as Victor put it, ensuring the relevance in your application matches the profile described by the company.

You might be thinking this is an obvious statement but consider the subtle requirements in the job opening such as the niche skills, industry, seniority, and state of the company (seed funding, series A etc.).

Then from here, you can tailor your application to highlight key elements in your application through a unique introduction that will resonate more with the company and make them want to learn more about you.

There is nothing wrong with the quick apply feature or batch sharing of your resume, however as Mirco stated during our call, each company will utilise a tracking system and your name will appear within that system for good or bad. So, if you apply to more than one opening, or if you share your resume for an opening that is not matching, regardless of when then you might be starting the process with something to overcome.

Apply with intent always.

 

“Joe Factor”

Mirco explained that the ‘Joe Factor’ is someone’s unique combination of expertise. This will incorporate the core skills of the role you are applying to but also a blend of diverse skills that could help push their business further, even if you might not realise.

An example of this might be your background in start-ups (where the company is) combined with your exposure to frontend development tools like React (the companies stack) as well as your passion for mentoring (showing your ability to help others) coupled with your love for gardening (highlighting a skill that takes patience).

This unique combination makes you, you.

Knowing this will help you sell your abilities better in your resume and really grab the reader’s attention to learn more.

If you are not sure what your ‘Joe Factor’ is, then ask friends or colleagues around you.

 

Always be yourself

All three highly encouraged applicants to be themselves in order to be heard. Stop worrying about what you think the hiring team want to see, instead focus on who you really are and what you want, explaining this clearly throughout your resume and in return the right company will hire you with a match that will be long-lasting.

A few ways you can do this today:

Mirco suggested that even with your resume try to not use a ‘factory’ template that copy and pasted. Instead, showcase your personality in how you present your profile.

Victor highlighted the need for clear motivations on your resume, allowing the reader to determine if what is driving you is something the team can truly offer.

Christina mentioned less can be more. Bring forward the most impactful information for the opening. Highlight skills and projects that you feel will resonate most with the company instead of listing everything and casting a too-wide net.

 

Respectful follow-ups

Once an application has been made Christina would encourage applicants to follow up with the team but in a respectful manner. Consider that if you haven’t heard back from the team within a week or so that the recruiting team might be overwhelmed with applications, they might have rejected your application and not informed you yet or they simply haven’t had the chance to review your details.

A respectful follow-up on email to the HR/Recruiting team highlighting the date you applied and your interest to hear back will help prompt a response for resolution.

Adding to this, if the hiring manager is directly responsible for the recruiting process and not someone from the talent team, then same rules apply, give it a week or so before following up.

 

Establish contact points

Outside of tailoring your resume and creating follow-ups, you can also establish contact points either for now or in the future.

Mirco recommended exploring target companies' socials to see if they are attending /hosting any meetups or conferences in which you can meet them to learn more. We would always encourage this but appreciate it might not always be possible, if it is then the best plan of action here is to keep the conversations open and focused on them, utilising it as a learning opportunity for you to hear about culture and challenges.

You can then use this information later post meetup/conference to sell your candidacy back in as you know more about the unique challenges that team are facing.

If you truly believe there is a perfect match then Victor also suggested you reach out to the recruiter/hiring manager directly with a specific statement as to why you believe this to be. The key element here is to bring forward all you have learned from your research to support your application with concrete examples of how you could help them achieve what problems they are facing, not just regurgitating your CV in an email.

As Christina summarised hiring, it is a lot like dating. You need to know exactly what you want to determine if the company you are speaking with is the one for you. It was clear from the conversations that those that stand out in our expert’s minds are those that do the basics very well.

They can articulate skills, motivations, and reasons for applying for a company in a clear and concise manner. The resume creates impact but leaves the reader wanting more. They are the individuals that can showcase who they are outside of a job title, and they can build connections within the business to learn about challenges which in turn they use to express why they are the best match for the opening.

The market has shifted, and you can certainly still find a job without doing any of the tips highlighted in this article but if you want to have a shorter job search and rise to the top, then implementing these can help get you there quicker.

Thank you to Victor, Mirco and Christina for sharing your advice. If you feel that others could learn from these three, then please share this article and collectively we can all help simplify the chaos of recruitment.

Stay tuned for part 2!

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