Competing against at least hundreds of applications for the same roles is quite common. You may in fact have to compete with thousands of individuals for a particular job. Developing the best strategy on how to standout with all that competition can be difficult. Here are some tips to help you get noticed in a competitive job market.
Customizing your resume is an absolute must. It is rare that a hiring manager or recruiter will take the time to read your resume in its entirety. They are inundated with applicants and have to make the most efficient use of their time. It is solely up to you to ensure that your resume and cover letter is targeted for the positions you are interested in. The resume screening process is automated for most companies so the goal is to develop a resume that is optimized in order to rank well within the system. It's also critical that if you rank well, the resume is formatted so the recruiter can quickly scan your resume and see all the vital information within 10 seconds on average.
Mervat Elschwarby, Lead Resume Writer and Career Coach from NYC Resume, Interview & Online Prep states "Taking a thoughtful approach to customizing your resume is essential to being noticed in this fiercely competitive job market. It can be tricky to determine what is important. The key is to evaluate the job descriptions and make adjustments accordingly. That does not mean copying the job description. It means understanding the essential requirements of the position and making sure your resume shows specific examples of how you successfully demonstrated those skills." If you are at a loss, resume writers can help you craft a resume that is targeted appropriately.
Standing out is about relevance. Some people like to go back in their job history since their first internship or job working through college. If you are a recent graduate, it makes sense to show you worked your way through college. However, if you are a seasoned professional, what you did at an internship will likely detract from the highly skillful professional you are today. Relevance is key to standing out. A resume packed with jobs that do not demonstrate your growth and current skills are unnecessary. It's common to go back up to fifteen years of work experience.
When you think about developing your resume, it's critical to reflect on your important accomplishments and how they relate to the positions you are applying for. Hiring managers use past performance as an indicator of future performance. Therefore, identifying examples of when you contributed to the organization's growth, profitability, driving efficiencies and cost savings initiatives is valuable information. Furthermore, the ability to quantify your results sets you apart. If you include measurable achievements, it gives the company insight into how you will contribute to their organization.
Tapping into your contacts through social media is another important step in learning about opportunities and getting your foot in the door. If a part of your network is able to help you get face time or a Skype interview with a recruiter or hiring manager, it's still up to you to wow the interviewer. A thoughtful approach, research and paying careful attention to what's important to be successful in the job is vital to landing that exciting new opportunity.