How to Be Outstanding in Your Job Search
There are signs that the number of technology jobs has resumed its growth trajectory that had slammed into reverse because of the impact of COVID-19. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 12,900 jobs were created in the tech sector in September.
However, there are still many more job seekers searching for jobs in technology than there were this time last year. The result is that while there are more jobs being created as we recover from COVID-19, you face a lot more competition to land one.
The answer is to work smarter to make yourself the standout candidate in the race for your next tech job. Here is what our specialist experience in staffing and recruiting tells us you should be doing.
1. Work on Your Resume
You should compose your resume for each application you make. Not all roles are the same, and neither are all hiring companies.
How do you customize a resume for each role?
- Take care when reading the job description
- Note key skills and experience requirements, and include these as keywords in your resume
- Focus on providing specific evidence that your achievements resonate with the responsibilities of the role you are applying for
- Show progression and relevancy by composing your experience section in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent first
- Ensure that your personal statement ‘speaks’ of your ambition to fill the role and work with a company like the one hiring
Remember, your resume has one job – to get you an interview.
2. Learn All You Can About the Employer
Research the employer. Look through their website, examine their social media, search for news stories in local and national press. When you go into the interview room, know what their share price is, who their senior leaders are, and what it is that the company delivers to its customers.
If you find out who will be interviewing you, do your research on these people, too. You never know what commonalities you might find that you could use in an interview (subtly, of course) to help build rapport.
3. Prepare Your Interview Answers
You know that you will be tested in an interview. The hiring company will want to learn that you are the person your resume describes. The interview is your chance to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and experience.
Examine the job description again. What skills are the hiring company most in need of? What have you accomplished in the past that shows you have these skills?
Think of situations that have required you to use the needed skills. Describe the task you undertook, the actions needed, and the results achieved – and be specific about all of these. Prepare four or five such stories in advance, and shape them to the questions asked.
4. Prepare Your Interview Questions
There is little that is a more effective display of enthusiasm for an employer and the role offered. The best way to do this is to come armed with a few questions to ask the interviewer. The difficulty is preparing those questions to be original and thought-provoking.
Though we’re sure you will be able to think of your own questions (from the research you have done), here are a few examples of good questions to ask in your interview:
- What is a typical day like in this role?
- Is there a career path within the company?
- Why has this role become vacant (or why has it been created if it is a new role)?
- What cross-functional collaboration is there in this role?
- What does the business strategy forecast for the company in the next five years?
5. Let Your Personality Shine
Finally, don’t forget that companies hire not only for skills and experience, but to enhance their company culture, too. They want to hire talented candidates who fit in, offering new perspectives while capable collaborators enrich atmosphere, morale, and motivation. During your interview, be relaxed and let your natural persona show itself in your conversation.
You should never need to ‘sell yourself’. When you are your natural self and demonstrate your skills, experience, and ability in your resume and interview technique, you are more likely to become the standout candidate that compels a buying decision by the hiring manager.