Over the years I’ve read many ‘how to be the best in interviews..’ or ‘how to write the best CV and cover letter’ type of articles. However, the biggest challenge today is standing out, in a pool of candidates where ‘the best’ is a standard request.
The big idea behind understanding the concept of a recruiting spotlight getting yourself seen among all the other ‘best candidates’. The concept of a recruiter’s spotlight is most relevant at the beginning phase of recruitment – aka the candidate profile hunt.
Here are a few tricks to make your profile be the star of this spotlight:
- LinkedIn – Social media and technology have become an influential way to discover candidates. Besides functionality, it opens up the possibility of a more personal interaction between a recruiter and a candidate. Having a well-written and on-point profile can increase your chances of getting discovered. There are certain ‘key words’ used to find you. They can be as general as ‘sales representative’ ‘b2b’ or as precise as industry related concepts. Your LinkedIn headline – writing a memorable headline for your username can have a lot of impact so be smart and take advantage of the word count available on your headline section. The first thing recruiters look is for a relevant job role, but imagine scrolling through hundreds of ‘sales representatives’... Don’t be afraid to get creative and catch someone’s attention with a witty or humorous phrase written after your current role. See the following link for guidance on editing your LinkedIn headline.
- CV – Yes, accuracy, relevance and conciseness matter but more importantly, make your CV easy to read. Thinking back to the spotlight concept and the ‘hunt for the best among the best’ having an easy to read CV is important. Use headlines, bold letters, and different fonts, make your own structure. Using CV guidelines and standard formats can be helpful but it will also increase your chances to fade into the background. Most recruitment agencies will transform your CV into a standard format to send to your future employer anyway. Don’t be afraid to put your mark on your CV. Use a picture, write a description, and mention your hobbies or your passions. Make it pop.
- Put it everywhere and be active – job sites – use them all! Yes, post your CV everywhere, create accounts on as many sites as you want, however, choose the most ‘famous’ ones you can find out there. These websites might feel like you will get lost in the crowd yet, this also means that there will be more recruiters going ‘on the hunt’. Your biggest trick here is to remain active. Keep applying, keep revisiting your profile, and this will increase your discoverability. Relevance is important too, being discoverable will not be enough if your CV shows that you’ve been a student at your former school for 7 years because you forgot to update it. So make yourself visible and make yourself job relevant.
- Do your research and chose your recruiting agency – Do your research and find recruiting/HR companies you can resonate with. After you found it, send your application. Tell them who you are, what you have done and what you are looking for. Being in a recruiting agency’s database will improve your chances of being contacted for future opportunities that match your profile.
- The power of professional networking – Why you should talk to friends, former school or university colleagues, family members or even friends of a family member about your professional aspirations? Individuals from your professional network may know a friend, or a friend of a friend that will have a job opening or someone working in a recruiting agency. By having them refer you to that someone will increase the chances of having your CV seen.
All things considered, it is important to be active in your job hunt, as are recruiters in their candidate hunt.
Lisa, young HR professional with a cross-cultural vision of organizational development gained in academia, has an international approach to creating theory-based solutions aimed at employee engagement and organizational performance. She believes that The people strategy is the business strategy.