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How to stand out to employers

When applying for jobs, it’s important to make yourself stand out. There are going to be other candidates and an employer is going to be looking for someone that is memorable and demonstrates the skills they want in their company or business. Here are a couple of ways that could make you stand out to employers.  

One of the most important things you could do to stand out is to make connections and network. If you know someone that currently works for the company, that could help you out. Simply having someone at the company that you know that could put in a good word for you could go a long way.  

Knowing who you are sending your application and resume to is also a big help. If you want to really make yourself stand out, you could include a letter. Letters like this are typically emailed to the company you are applying for. In the letter, you should address it to a specific person. Do some research and find out if you can find the name of the person you would be working for or the hiring manage. A lot of companies have a directory and they will tell you the name and title of their employees and sometimes an email or phone number. Use this information. You are going to stand out more if you address someone by name and title rather than just saying to whom it may concern or dear hiring manager.   

Next up, don’t just submit a resume and cover letter. If you have done any other work, you should include it. If you have a portfolio of your work, send them a link to it. For some jobs you can even make a mockup of what your work would look like. For example, if you are applying for a position that requires organizing information, you could create an excel sheet an organize information on it. Information could include businesses, names, addresses, phone numbers or anything else you would think of.  

Reaching out after you have applied for the position can tell employers a lot about you. A follow up is important. It shows initiative and shows the employers that you want the position. If you haven’t heard from the place you applied a week after you applied, you should send a follow up email or make a follow up phone call and check in. A lot of people do this, but assuming the employer has a pile of applications to sort through, it would make you stand out more than someone who didn’t.  

The Muse interviewed several founders of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) and asked them about the time a job candidate stood out to them by doing something during the interview that was memorable and positive.  

According to Emily Holdman of PeopleKit, the most memorable candidates should be asking questions during the interview as well.  

“We seek highly strategic thinkers, not people who just want a job,” Holdman told the Muse. “They should be interviewing us, too. The most memorable candidates have reached out to multiple team members ahead of and after an interview to ask questions, and some have asked to hang out for a day to experience the culture. These proactive inquiries show they are taking us seriously and strive to make well-informed decisions.”  

John Berkowitz of Yodle said, “A candidate for a sales position asked to prove his skills by pitching the person in the office next door, who was a senior leader at the company. What impressed me about this wasn’t the candidate’s sales pitch, but his initiative. By showing that he was fearless, unflappable, and eager, he convinced me that he had the skills to be a successful sales rep. He’s now one of our best salespeople.”  

Doing a couple of these things could mean the difference between being hired and not being hired. Ultimately, standing out to a possible employer will make them remember you and as long as you have the skills required for the job, you have a much higher chance of being hired.  

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