Updated: Oct 10, 2022
The job market is competitive. For a single online job advert, there are often hundreds of individual applications.
It can be tempting as a candidate to think you’ll boost your chance of success by applying for as many jobs as possible but applying for roles in this way is a surefire way to disappointment.
Here are a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd when looking for a job.
1. Explore your personal networks
You see a job advertised by an organisation and like the look of it. You believe you’re a good match for the role and decide to apply.
Before you send off your CV though, have a quick think about your personal network and whether you know anyone who works for the organisation. If you do, it’s worth getting in touch to see if they would be happy to endorse your application.
Why? Having a personal recommendation can boost your chance of success in securing an interview, particularly if the person is relatively senior or well-connected in the organisation.
In addition, many companies offer referral rewards to employees for introducing successful candidates and so there may even be a financial incentive for your contact to support you.
2. Phone the recruiter
Before you send off your application, do your best Miss Marple, and see if you can track down the recruiter’s phone number. This may seem a scary prospect but having a conversation with the person working to fill the job could give you a valuable opportunity to find out more about the role than would come across in a job advert, giving you insights that will enable you to shape your application accordingly.
If you make a positive impact on the recruiter, you’ll also have the advantage that they will know your name and look out for your application when it comes through - taking away the anonymity of a cold job application.
3. Work with a recruitment consultant
Sometimes organisations work closely with external recruiters, whose role is to help organisations fill vacancies. Recruitment consultants are engaged by organisations and are usually paid for their services either on successful appointment or at each stage of a job search (so it’s important to note that they’re not there to serve you as a candidate).
That said though, recruitment consultants can be very useful to you as a candidate, as they often have visibility of a wide variety of roles for different organisations. They also have the power to decide who they will put forward for specific roles.
If you can establish a strong relationship with an individual recruitment consultant - where they know you’re a good candidate who will likely interview well - it can make a big difference to the success of your search, as you’ll be at the forefront of their mind when a relevant opportunity comes up.
4. Optimise your LinkedIn profile
Most people have a LinkedIn profile these days but very few people are using its full capability. To really maximise your LinkedIn profile and get yourself to stand out to potential recruiters, it needs to be more than just a repeat of your CV.
It’s important to note that LinkedIn is essentially a search engine and so uses your activity and connections, as well as keywords to rank you - making you more (or less) visible to potential recruiters.
LinkedIn provides lots of scope to showcase your personality in addition to your work experience. You can share quality content and post papers or other interesting pieces of work you have been involved with on your profile – boosting your visibility and providing potential recruiters with more depth as to what you’re about.
If you’d like to find out more or would like help with your job hunt, Blooms Coaching offers affordable 121 career coaching. For more information, see www.bloomscoaching.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org