Standing Out From The Crowd

The challenges of the past few years have been considerable and as the world of work has evolved the job market has become even more difficult.

To fill roles successfully, employers need to move faster than ever before. We no longer have the luxury of taking days to mull over candidates, test scores or CVs, it’s all about super quick decision-making and gut instinct.

The old and familiar ‘snooze and you lose’ mantra has never been more apt. There’s limited talent available and rising demand for it, so the challenge will continue well into 2022.

From a candidate perspective, the world is full of opportunities. Recruitment has become candidate led. Most candidates are now able to pick and choose from wide-ranging job offers, often getting to the point of having four or five offers on the table.

Standing Out

Despite it being a candidate led world, complacency is not an option.  The application process has always been [and continues to be] about standing out from the crowd and getting yourself noticed.

To make that happen, there are a few easy steps to follow. Firstly, create a stand-out CV. Please don’t be tempted to simply create a generic job board version. As a recruiter and hiring manager, there really is nothing more depressing than seeing identical, non-informative, vague and non-descriptive CVs. And please don’t forget to use spellcheck and get someone you trust to proofread it for you!

A CV should run no longer than two pages and in this digital world, creativity is key.  Try different fonts, use bullet points, try some colour and formatting. Use the right key words and be results focused. Adopt the STAR technique, this is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Start with your current or most recent role and work back, summarising key responsibilities and shout about your achievements. Make your experience come alive!

Prioritise Communication

Once you’ve applied and if you’re serious about securing the role, communication is key. Once a recruiter reaches out, respond. Ghosting isn’t appealing unless you’re a fan of the supernatural. If you want the role, or to at least be considered you need to speak or come back to us. Email, Teams, phone calls and texts all count.

If we invite you to interview, let’s quickly agree on a time that suits. We can be flexible, an interview is now more than likely to be virtual, it can take place out of standard working hours and won’t be too time consuming. We can move quickly but tell us what other opportunities you have on the go, and we’ll adjust and flex accordingly.

Tell us what makes you different, show your enthusiasm and tell us why our role is right for you. Being able to sell yourself is key. Do your homework i.e., your research. Find out what makes the company a good employer, find out what they’re all about, what values they follow.

A good employer will also shout about themselves. Look at their website, check out their social media.  Get a real feel for the culture. It still astounds me when a candidate can’t tell me anything about our company. The “I didn’t have time” excuse simply doesn’t wash. Make the effort! This will help once you meet the recruiter or hiring team, even if those meetings take place through a screen.

Interview Etiquette

For the interview itself, turn up ahead of time, even if it’s taking place virtually. If it’s virtual, ensure you’ve good a good Wi-Fi connection, your camera is switched on and in a good position. We don’t want to see just your forehead! Think about your answers and again, remember to sell yourself. Relax and engage. Show us that you really want the job. Have some questions for the interviewers prepped ahead of time. Forget the nerves and try and show the real you. Tell us about your achievements, but don’t forget to tell us about the outside of work bits too. Interests, hobbies, sports, family life it all matters. Remember, it’s about standing out from the crowd.

If you are interested in a career at Zonal please click here.

Picture of Catriona Dick

Catriona Dick

Head of Human Resources