How to stand out in your job search

On the candidate side, how do you stand out from the crowd during your job search? Part of this confusion is the fact that the job search seems to always be changing. In this two-part blog, we’re here to help! First, let’s focus on one factor that is responsible for the ever-changing nature of job seeking.

How’s the overall job search climate out there?

There’s something to be said for supply and demand.

When there’s a shortage of talent out there, a candidate can often get away with more, so to speak. For example, typos in resumes, not tailoring a cover letter to the job, not staying current on resume trends, etc. This is simply due to the fact that there are so few candidates to select from. In those situations, resume reviewers either get a little less fixated on details, or their job ends up going unfilled.

Plus, the lower volume of applicants also potentially gives reviewers more time with each resume. So perhaps they notice that flaw, but maybe they also take more time with this less-than-perfect resume and realize there really is lots of value to be found. After all, candidates are more than just a resume.

When the tables turn on the job search

But when there is a high volume of applicants for a role, the standards go up. Why? Because reviewers just can’t give full attention to each and every resume that comes through. They need to get down to brass tacks and find a way to get things narrowed down to the strongest candidates. In more extreme cases, reviewers are looking for an excuse (however small) to send multiple resumes to the recycle bin. This really helps to narrow things down more quickly. In this situation, that typo that was easily overlooked could now instead become one’s Achilles heel.

What creates this supply/demand conundrum?

Lots of things. One could simply say it’s the economy and overall market in the country. That’s definitely a factor. But it’s still more than that. In nearly any economical climate, there is always at least one industry that could be experiencing a serious skill shortage while another industry has more applicants than it knows what to do with. That first industry will likely be far more open-minded about things than the second industry would be. So in the end, you’ll just need to do a little homework and have an understanding of your unique industry at the time of your search.

What’s the easiest way to work around all this?

The surest way to stand out in your job search is to always go the extra mile. Always do things according to best practices (which we’ll talk about more specifically in the next blog). When every application you send is spot-on, you can worry a lot less about the supply and demand of the current market.