While COVID-19 vaccines are making their way out into the population, the pandemic will remain part of the landscape for quite some time. As a result, unemployment may remain fairly high, creating more competition for job seekers. Additionally, some pandemic-related changes to recruitment processes will probably stay in place, at least for the next few months.
As a candidate, this can make it harder to figure out how to stand out from other applicants. Certain techniques that worked pre-pandemic might not be as effective today, so you need to find alternatives that allow you to shine. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some options that can make it easier to separate yourself from the crowd.
Elevate the Video Interview
In the early days of the pandemic, video interviews could often be a bit haphazard. Everyone was familiarizing themselves with the new approach, so the occasional mishap was often overlooked.
Today, video interviewing isn’t new. As a result, the same missteps that may not have been a big deal in early to mid-2020 will be subject to more scrutiny now.
If you want to stand out from other applicants, you need to make sure your video interview skills and experience is top-notch. Along with having a quiet space to participate, you need to make sure that what appears on camera reflects well on you. Examine your background and make it look professional. Adjust your lighting to ensure it isn’t too bright or dark. Test your technology to ensure a smooth connection, clear video, and high-quality audio.
Additionally, resist the urge to dress down. Professional attire can be a differentiator, as not all candidates will go that extra mile when taking part in a video interview.
Take Your Cover Letter Up a Notch
Your cover letter can be a powerful tool for setting yourself apart from the pack. It gives you more flexibility than you have with a resume, and it’s possible to use that in your favor.
Along with highlighting valuable skills and achievements, use your letter to showcase your knowledge of the company. For example, mention the company’s mission or values, discuss how a recent achievement by the organization or hiring manager caught your eye, or tie your experience into a critical aspect of the company’s culture.
Additionally, make sure you use engaging language. Avoid passive voice whenever possible, favoring action verbs instead. Mix in some keywords from the job ad to ensure that the hiring manager (and any automated screening technologies) sees you as a strong match.
A well-crafted cover letter can help you stand out from the pack. Make sure to harness the opportunity.
Highlight Remote Work Skills
If you’re applying to a position that’s remote, either permanently or just until the pandemic calms, highlight your remote work skills and experience on your resume. Let the hiring manager know about any relevant technologies you’re familiar with, such as collaboration software or VPNs.
Additionally, when you mention a major achievement that occurred when working from home, state that you were telecommuting at the time. This lets the hiring manager know that you can excel as a remote employee and make a big difference when deciding which candidate to pursue.
Ultimately, each of the tips above can help you stand out from other applicants this year. If you’d like to find out more, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today.