When you apply for a new job, you need more than luck to get noticed as a top candidate. According to data from Glassdoor, each available corporate job opening spurs about 250 résumés from other job-hunters like yourself. Among those applicants, only four to six are contacted for an interview.
If you’re considering an open position, you’ll need to learn how to strategically get noticed among a wide candidate pool. Here’s how.
1 Project the right tone
In past decades, job seekers could walk into a business, convey their attitude on the spot, and apply for a position in-person. Today, most companies start their vetting process without even meeting the candidate.
It’s harder to showcase your charisma and personality online, which is why it’s important for your written words to do so for you. Ensuring that the tone of your correspondence conveys confidence, professionalism, and friendliness can help you stand out.
Run your messages and documents through the Grammarly Editor or extension to double-check that your words read the way you intended.
2 Ask for LinkedIn recommendations
Keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date and complete with your work history isn’t the only step necessary for your account. Ask for key people in your network, those who can attest to your work, for recommendations.
This can include current and past supervisors and managers, peers within your team, and even colleagues from other departments or industries who you’ve collaborated with. Getting LinkedIn recommendations from a diverse group of job roles shows recruiters your merits and how successful you can be at impacting team members across all levels.
3 Communicate your accomplishments
Whether you’re writing a cover letter, drafting your résumé, or writing an email pitch to a recruiter, it’s important to focus on what you’ve accomplished. Your LinkedIn profile, for example, might disclose your work history and skills, but it doesn’t show your impact to the organization using those skills.
Instead of itemizing everything you’re responsible for, highlight your successes and accolades. Let’s say you were responsible for managing client accounts. To refocus this into an accomplishment, you might say that you were responsible for managing client accounts and successfully had a 97% re-enrollment rate among clients you oversaw.
In this scenario, you not only manage accounts on a day-to-day basis but also demonstrate your ability to do the job so well that clients re-signed with the business again. The difference is subtle but strong.
4 Use keywords from the job description
A 2018 Eye-Tracking Study by Ladders found that recruiters only spend 7.4 seconds screening an applicant’s résumé. Additionally, many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS)—tools that automate who gets moved on in the process for review by a live recruiter—in their recruiting strategy.
ATS essentially breaks down your résumé information based on select keywords so hiring teams can filter and sort candidates easily. To give your résumé the best chance at reaching recruiters, ensure that you’ve included keywords from the job listing in your résumé.
Generally, the most important characteristics or skills for a job are listed at the top of the job responsibilities. Make sure your résumé mirrors the listing’s word choice. For example, if it uses the phrase “analyze data,” this phrasing should be used in your document.
5 Keep your writing concise and mistake-free
Seeing as hiring teams go through so many applications for just one position, showcase your most valuable traits and accomplishments without writing a five-page essay.
As you’re drafting your message or cover letter, make sure it’s concise and doesn’t have typos. As little as one spelling or grammatical mistake can cause a recruiter to question your credibility, according to data from StandOut CV, a CV writing resource. Grammarly acts as your own personal writing assistant that scans your text before you send your document.
6 Prepare concrete anecdotes
If you’ve landed an interview, you might be asked to share examples of how you’ve successfully used your skills on the job. One way to get ahead of this inevitability is by writing down past professional anecdotes related to the job or a particular skill—don’t forget to include details, like important numbers and milestones. Edit down what you’ve written to only the most key points (again, Grammarly can help with this).
After you’ve written a clear and concise anecdote, practice saying it aloud until you can comfortably and confidently tell your story.
There are many job search techniques within your control. Applying at least one of these approaches can help you grab the attention of a recruiter. Happy job hunting!