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How to Set Yourself Apart in your Job Search

By hire-up in Industry Resources

Leah Perez

Vice President of Major Accounts

Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare


3/3/2022

It is one of the age-old questions, debated for years: How do you set yourself apart from other candidates in your job search? Before we begin, it is important to note that this list can and will change, depending on what is happening in the job market. Things like industry, unemployment, and technology will affect what will get someone noticed. It is also important to continue to educate yourself on what the market is bearing and what is attractive to hiring managers as time marches on.

And Now, Without Further Ado…

Here are the Top Job-Seeking Tips from the Pros

Set yourself apart, BEFORE you even apply!

  1. Ask your network first! Referrals are one of the best ways to stand out. Who do you know that can refer you to the job that you are wanting?
  2. Spiffy up your LinkedIn page. Ask for endorsements and recommendations (and take the time to give them back). Make sure your work experience is clear. Give yourself a catchy headline: think action words and avoid the cliché words and phrases. (A LinkedIn headline is important, as it shows people who you are, what you can do for them, as well help, or hinder, your ability to appear in recruiter searches.)
  3. Do your research. Where do you want to work? Why? What have you accomplished in the past that will enable you to contribute to the level of performance that those companies expect? Be prepared to sell yourself and tailor your resume and cover letter to best fit the needs and interest of each respective organization to which you apply.
  4. Apply for new jobs on Monday. LinkedIn says, “the #1 day for hiring managers to post opportunities is Monday, so be on the lookout at the beginning of the week for new job postings. Professionals who are among the first twenty-five to apply to a role, are three times more likely to land the job, so being an early applicant gives you a clear advantage. That means, clear your Monday evenings to apply for these jobs. They are brand new and have just been posted that day, so you can jump ahead of the crowd!”
  5. Make sure your resume is ready to roll. There are websites that share endless resume “Do’s and Don’ts,” however, there are foundational resume tips that will always remain key: Ensure the information on your resume is up to date, clear, concise, and free of grammar/spelling errors.

Make a Killer First Impression

  1. Dress for success. If you opt for a classic look, you may wish to wear a suit, which is a safe option. If you prefer to dress on the trendy side, to ensure you wear something appropriate for the business, do a bit of homework beforehand and choose to wear something that mirrors how the company dresses on a regular basis– but step it up a notch.
  2. Introduce yourself by making eye contact, smiling, stating your first and last name, and giving a firm handshake. Be sure to listen for their name and use it at least twice during your conversation. This will assist you with demonstrating sincerity in your conversation, as well as making it easier to remember for future reference.
  3. Mirror and match! For example, if your interviewer has high energy and gestures while he or she talks, strive to express a similar level of liveliness. And vice versa. If they are calm and serious, tone your energy down a bit. Be mindful of your body language as well, and mirror that when appropriate. Mirroring and matching will help make a fast connection between you and the stranger on the other side of the table. This might sound like an odd tip but trust me- IT WORKS!

Ace the Interview

  1. Overall, the most impressive candidates are those who are natural, flexible, and can demonstrate that they genuinely care about the opportunity. Genuine care is evident when candidates do their research ahead of time and learn about the company and the position for which they are applying. The best candidates then connect in their own minds just how their experience and skills tie in with the specific needs of this position. That preliminary groundwork and connection helps to increase the candidate’s confidence in the interview. A confident candidate, who knows just how they can be of service, will shine.
  2. When presented with a complicated question, do not be afraid to answer it with more questions, to better understand. Also, feel free to ask for a minute or two, if needed, to allow yourself time to process the question. You may say something like, “That is a great question. Would you mind giving me a moment to think about that?”
  3. Skip the typical, broad “day-in-the-life” and “company culture” questions and dig deeper into what they do, how they do it, and what they are looking for in an employee. You may say something like, “In researching online for more information about this position, I noticed…” and then ask a question specific to something shared on their website that intrigued you. It is important to ask questions to help you better understand key details about their business.
  4. Studies show thatthe highest rated interviewees are those who seem positive, interested, and engaged in the conversation. It can be difficult to pull off if you are overthinking or obsessing over what question might be coming next and then scrambling to recall how you are supposed to answer it. Focus instead on the conversation that is happening and let it flow naturally.

Follow Up the Right Way

  1. Email your interviewer immediately following the meeting to express gratitude and interest. A handwritten note goes a long way. Do not let anyone tell you a personal handwritten note is outdated or old fashioned. I still have handwritten thank you notes I have received over the years. They matter.
  2. Ask the recruiter, or hiring manager when a decision might be made, should you move on in the process. Set a timeline for follow up, so both parties know what to expect.
  3. If you do not get the job, email a thank you, wish them the best with their new hire and bow out gracefully. This gesture will typically surprise the interviewer so much, they just might reconsider their decision.

As you can see there are many things you can do to set yourself apart from the competition when it comes to landing your dream job. It takes a bit of forethought and planning; however, it is all worth it when you can enter an interview in a confident manner. With the right research, you know just how your skills and experience complement the needs of the position and can have a natural conversation about it.

Feel like you could use some additional support in your job search? We can help! We have teams of professional recruiters who work closely with organizations looking for qualified candidates just like you! Give us a call and let us help you with finding a perfect match for your interests, skills, and experience. We can help lead you to new opportunities and can help coach you along the way.

Best of luck to you in your search!

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There is no doubt that 2021 brought forth opportunities with which to leverage new and emerging employment trends. Follow the Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare Services Blog to stay connected with a variety of topics aimed to help support you! Whether you are an active job seeker looking for tips and tricks to land your perfect job or an employer looking to fill a challenging position, we are here to help you HIRE UP!

LinkedIn Reveals The Best Day To Apply For A Job (forbes.com)


Leah Perez, Vice President of Major Accounts | March 3, 2022

As the Vice President of Major Accounts, Leah focuses on the national level clients. Leah has over 16 years of recruiting experience in various industries from medical/clinical to administrative/accounting, all of which has launched her to being one of the most well-respected staffing leaders in California.  Clients and candidates would describe her as urgent, ethical, and most importantly she takes the time to understand her clients needs so she can properly assist them. Leah would love to speak with you so she can help your business reach new heights

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