What Makes You Stand Out as a Candidate?

June 12th, 2015

You’re about to start editing and customizing your resume in pursuit of an opportunity that seems perfect in every way. Perfect for you, at least. The position lies well within commuting distance, the company seems stable, and job seems to align perfectly with your long term career goals. You also hold all (or most) of the requirements that these employers seem to be looking for. This position offers everything you want and need…but what about the other side of that transaction? How can you make it clear to these employers that, as far as this dream job is concerned, you’re also dream candidate? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you work on setting yourself apart from the crowd.

The minimum isn’t always enough.

If the employers request a candidate with a specific level of education in a specific field, plus three, five, or ten years of experience, then having these things won’t help you across the finish line; you’ll just have an easier time getting into the race. Whatever the basic requirements may be for the position, almost every candidate in the pool will have them. So you’ll need to make it clear that you can check these boxes…but you can also offer a little bit more.

Overlapping credentials provide leverage.

Maybe these employers want a candidate with a degree in finance, but they also want a candidate with HTML experience. And it may not be a realistic expectation, but they also (as a bonus) would love to find a candidate who can speak the national language of the country where they’re about to open a new office. Most employers know that each of these individual skill sets are easy to find. But a candidate with two of the three will be far more rare. And a magical candidate with all three of these unrelated credentials will be like a beautiful, mythical unicorn. If you happen to be this unicorn (AND you happen to live within in commuting distance) now is your time to shine! Don’t miss this opportunity.

Downplay irrelevant skills.

If you have seven skills to include in your “skills” section, including software languages, public speaking skills, clinical certifications, athletic accomplishments, artistic accomplishments, and a few others, shine a light on the ones that will matter most to these specific employers. Do this by removing the others altogether. If you’re pretty sure one of your skills might be commonplace or irrelevant to this job, delete it so the others get more attention.

For more on how to make sure you’re grabbing and holding the attention of potential employers, reach out to the expert staffing team at Personnel Services Unlimited.

 

 

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