what can you do to stand out to hiring managers

Carolyn Wass - 09/07/2020

The balance has changed. Fewer Jobs, more people applying. What can you do to stand out to hiring managers?

Globally we are seeing companies lay off huge numbers of people. Leaving many individuals in unforeseen circumstances. We read about the new jobs COVID-19 has generated, but how do you shine through the piles of applications recruiters are receiving?

As a sourcing specialist, I develop strategies to map the hard to find candidates in a market, helping clients when there are talent shortages. The strategies I use to find candidates can be flipped to be used by you as a candidate, to be found. 

Here is how I source candidates and tips on how you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

Keywords

I find you by the keywords you use on your resume and social media profiles. This is done by creating Boolean search strings. Boolean logic combines keywords to include and exclude words and phrases.

How can knowing this help you? Use industry-standard terminology. 

For example, a “Customer Service Representative” can have several alternative, company-specific job titles. Such as “Customer Experience Specialist” OR “Customer Success Advisor” 

By adding the industry standard terms to your resume, you can increase your chance of being found. See the example below where I have added the “industry standard” job title into the job description section of the resume. Doing this will ensure you are found for a search on "Customer Service" and "Customer Experience". 

The same applies to skills, software and languages. Include these on your resume. They may bring you to the top of search results if an employer is prioritising candidates who have that specific skill or software.

Digital Footprint

I search online platforms to find candidates. Conducting what we call proactive sourcing. This is when we search for and reach out to people (who may not be actively looking for a job), but whose profiles match the role we are recruiting. When proactive sourcing is successful we will not need to advertise the role. 

How can knowing this help you? Instead of searching job boards and applying for roles. Having a digital footprint means you can be found and approached by recruiters.

A great place to start is with a Linkedin Profile.  A well written LinkedIn profile that lists your achievements and uses the right keywords can help you stand out to potential recruiters. 

Tip: Once you have set up your LinkedIn profile, there is a LinkedIn feature that will signal to recruiters that you’re open to hearing about opportunities. Set this up and provide the additional information such as the job titles and locations you are interested in.

Resume

When I screen resumes, candidates with a resume that clearly demonstrates that they have the experience and skills needed will be at the top of the list to call and short-list. 

How can knowing this help you? A recruiter may not have time to call you to delve deeper into your experience. Read the job description carefully then review your resume. Be prepared to tailor your resume to address the essential criteria. 

Tip: Avoid lengthy paragraphs. Use short bullet points to highlight important experience and skills. It is ok to have more than 2 pages if you need it. I would prefer this over a resume squeezed onto 2 pages in size 8 font, that is difficult to read.

Summary

When I screen resumes, candidates with a resume that clearly demonstrates that they have the experience and skills needed will be at the top of the list to call and short-list. 

How can knowing this help you? A recruiter may not have time to call you to delve deeper into your experience. Read the job description carefully then review your resume. Be prepared to tailor your resume to address the essential criteria. 

Tip: Avoid lengthy paragraphs. Use short bullet points to highlight important experience and skills. It is ok to have more than 2 pages if you need it. I would prefer this over a resume squeezed onto 2 pages in size 8 font, that is difficult to read.