How Can Job Seekers Make Themselves More Attractive to Recruiters?
“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” – H.G. Wells, Writer
The labour market is a unique entity. It keeps changing with the tide of economical demand and policy changes. It also has a ripple effect on the recruitment industry. To understand this better let’s look at the post-Covid-19 era. After the worst of the pandemic had passed us, we saw unemployment rates drop. Job seekers had more options when it came to choosing the employer and the career path they felt gave them the most advantages. While this is great for job seekers, it made sourcing top talent more difficult for recruiters.
On the other side of the issue we have the fact that, though candidates may have so many options, not all roads are viable. Simply put, the ‘Great Resignation’ made qualified top talent a rare resource in the market. Put all this together with the high level of competition out there in the market as well as how hard it is for recruiters to find top talent and you might find yourself between a rock and a hard place. So, what does this mean for candidates who want to stand out to employers?
To put it plainly – It makes it harder. While recruiters have to work twice as hard to find candidates they need, job seekers have to also work twice as hard to get noticed by recruiters. Now that we have established the issue and what needs to be done, you need to ask yourself: How?
Prioritize Personal Brand
A strong personal brand is always a good tool to have when you are an active or passive job seeker. Some might say that it is essential. Recruiters want top talent, as we mentioned before. This means that they want to see and recruit people who take the effort to stand out. To maintain a strong brand, one of the most crucial ways in which you can do that these days is through social media. Your online presence plays a huge role in how the business community perceives you.
Most job seekers in today’s job market know how to optimize their LinkedIn page or Indeed profile to get the best traction with employers. However, you should know that employers might look beyond LinkedIn, on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. If they see something that offensive or a profile that communicates something that doesn’t fit into their company values, they might exclude you.
Yes, non-professional social platforms are there for individuals to express themselves, but job seekers need to take extra steps to communicate professionalism across all platforms. LiveSocial is an example of an application that can help you build such a personal brand. It is a platform that links and connects all your socials to a single point of access from where you can share content. It also allows you to actively assess your brand and recommends relevant content to be posted automatically.
Don't start job hunting with the intention of casting the widest net. Rather target your efforts.
Focus Application Efforts
Recruiters receive thousands, if not hundreds of applications for a single open position. You may think that casting a wide net as a job seeker is the way to go, but precision is key. What we mean by that is, that you should try and apply only to the jobs that you are qualified for. Don’t flood recruiters with resumes for any and all positions. You want to avoid this because, for one, you might attract the wrong kind of attention, which might result in your resume being considered unqualified later down the line.
If you focus on positions related to your skills and knowledge, you are not only targeting jobs that you might have higher satisfaction with, but you drive up the chances of getting short-listed. You might also want to consider customizing your resume for each position that you apply for to highlight your best, relevant qualities.
Make sure that you use relevant keywords in your resume, supporting numbers and accomplishments you think might help you. Also keep in mind that if you don’t hear back from recruiters, try and limit the follow-ups to once or twice before you move on to the next job.
Demonstrate Knowledge and Sharpen Skills
To boost your chances of getting noticed, you can use your spare time to develop yourself. Job seekers who use their spare time to build their professional knowledge, grow networks and showcase this knowledge in professional circles will automatically gain an edge over the competition. It could be as simple as writing blogs, sharing articles or being an active participant in LinkedIn groups.
Keep in mind that not all online activity has to be work-related. It could even be a hobby, just as long as it is relevant and maintains a consistent image for any recruiters that might be looking for that one profile that has that ‘X-Factor’.
Another path that you can take is to take up a certification course. Something that shows recruiters that you are constantly looking to learn and grow. Let’s be honest, realistically, you won’t be on the hunt for a job 24/7. To break up the monotony of your quest, while still adding to your profile, taking a class or getting certified for something is a great way to gain an edge in the job market. Now, this may be more difficult for those currently working in highly demanding fields, but again, it’s just something that you do in your free time to build your credibility.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa
Update Your Contact Information
There are few things as frustrating to a recruiter as a candidate who is interested and qualified but has not updated their contact details. You have to remember that recruiters are very busy. They have a mountain of other application resumes sorting through. If they have to take time out of this busy schedule to engage you, then they need to be able to get in touch. Otherwise, they will just move on to the next candidate who is more accessible and easier to reach.
Get Reference Checked
Candidates can greatly boost their chances of success if they get certified that they have had their references checked. It’s sort of like when you run for public office, how they do background checks. Once you get verified in this way, employers who come across your profile will have one additional reason to trust your professional background. This in turn will drive up your chances of getting hired.
We would recommend that you check out Credibled, which is an automated reference checking platform that can help candidates, passive and active, to get verified and certified as fully reference checked. The platform streamlines the reference checking process, which means you have more time to go on the job-hunt and find your ideal placement.
Your personal life and the activities like volunteering can have a significant impact on your professional life.
Regardless of the industry you work in, every employer and recruiter will look at volunteerism as a big plus to the candidate profile. Recruiters take great notice of what candidates do in their free time to see if they fit into the company culture as well as the job role. If you can show employers and recruiters that you align with company values like giving back to the community, taking part in charitable causes and so on, it gives you a greater chance of getting selected.
This is not to say that employers are explicitly looking for people who do charity work. It has more to do with the fact that they are looking for someone who is in it for more than just a paycheck.
We said it before and we will say it again: the recruitment industry is constantly changing. From the hurdles of sourcing top talent to the entry of big data and applicant tracking systems to artificial intelligence, the hiring process has changed drastically from what it once was. There have been many advances and as a result, hurdles have emerged as well. With that in mind, job seekers should ensure that they are adaptable and can keep up with the new demands and parameters if they want to get noticed.
Though skills and experience will always be the primary factor that recruiters and employers look for, things like soft skills, hobbies, and online presence also play an important role. Candidates need to stand apart from the crowd and there are a million ways to go about doing that. Having said that, the points we mentioned in this blog are a good place to start.
If you are a passive candidate, you might not be as impacted by the loss of a single job opportunity. However, if you are an active job seeker, it’s a different story. There is a sense of urgency that you need to adhere to if you want that job.