This may not be my usual post, but I have been consulting extensively in the staffing and hiring process, and this insight can help pretty much anyone realize how to make themselves stand out from the crowd!

You’re out there looking for a job. The pressure is on, and you need work. You find one that fits most of your qualifications, and you feel you could grow into the job… but they mention a particular software you have not used. What do you do?
Show what you can do, not what you can’t. That might seem obvious in those terms, but many job applicants don’t adhere to this simple advice. The below message was lifted directly from an email from a job-searcher.
  1. Please don’t use the words “fast learner.” Remember that most recruiters and hiring managers have tens or hundreds of resumes rolling in every day. If there’s any reason you do not meet any of the qualifications in the job posting, but you know you are the right person anyway, don’t just say you are a fast learner. Show it. Discuss how you had to learn a new software system in just 2 weeks after your last employer switched over with little notice. Highlight that you led a team which efficiently managed the transfer of data and adapted their skills to the new ecosystem.
  2. Show why the recruiter should schedule an interview with you. Mention your other skills and experience that have made you well-prepared to handle the requirements of the job. You know you can do the job. In your first words to the person who reviews resumes, you should highlight where you excel, not where you fall short.
  3. Take the extra minute or two to make yourself stand out. Again, those who handle hiring are often overrun with resumes and emails, and they are usually on a deadline. This means they are often working at a very fast pace and trying to be highly efficient in doing so. A few well-placed words that relate closely to the specifications in the job-posting can make a difference. And formatting is your friend. In both your resume and your “cover letter” (where possible, I advocate for ditching the cover letter in favor of a short message in your email), a few words in bold or italics can better convey why you are right for the job.
Do you work in recruiting or with job searchers? What advice would you offer for the candidate who wants to stand out, even if they are missing a skill or qualification?

You can view other articles designed to help your business and personal growth hereThis article was originally published on LinkedIn.

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