Currently, the job market heavily favors you, the job seeker.
However, there’s no guarantee that will continue moving forward, and taking a relaxed attitude toward the application process is probably a bad habit to get into anyway. Also, employers are still seeing multiple applicants for their open positions. Jobs aren’t just being handed out first-come, first-served. Simply put, you need to stay on top of your game regardless.
When businesses hire, the stand-out applicants tend to receive job offers. Consider the following suggestions on how you can spotlight your strengths and individuality as a candidate.
1) Focus on Soft Skills
Companies are trying to find well-rounded workers with good interpersonal abilities. Soft skills can often be used to separate good candidates from middling candidates.
While you could simply talk about your communication, teamworking or other soft skills, you should “show” rather than “tell” by giving concrete examples from your past. Use examples that connect back to your resume. For example, you could refer to a past job where you led a three-month project that involved 100 volunteers. Telling this anecdote is far more effective than a basic statement like, “I have highly developed leadership abilities.”
You can also project strong interpersonal skills during the hiring process by showing confidence, being polite and paying attention to fine details. Employees know that engaged employees are the best employees, so it is critical for you to express sincere interest and act enthusiastic during your interactions.
2) Follow Up with a Thank-You Note
While most people looking for work know they ought to send a thank-you note after an interview, very few do so. You can, therefore, set yourself apart from the pack by sending a simple letter of gratitude after the face-to-face interview.
Thank-you notes don’t take up much time and they can have several benefits. First, they show basic manners: You were invited into a company and treated as a guest, so you should respond in kind. Second, a thank-you email can remind the interviewer of your candidacy, when others may not be doing so. Third, a thank-you email is a chance to convey your continued interest in the position. Fourth, it permits you the chance to re-highlight your qualifications.
3) Develop a Personal Brand
McDonald’s may sell mostly mediocre hamburgers and sugary drinks, but the McDonald’s brand is one of warmth, togetherness and America. Simply put, the products being sold by McDonald’s seem more appealing because of the brand the company has built up over many years.
You can also make yourself stand out from other job seekers by creating a personal brand, which is easier than ever, thanks to the internet. A personal brand should project the best aspects of your personality, highlight your interests and indicate what you are capable of as a professional. While you could build a brand through a personal website, established social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter can also be effectively used to build a brand.