When you’re filling out online job applications or emailing hiring managers, it can sometimes feel like you’re sending your information out into a black hole. With so many other qualified candidates, you may not know whether or not you’ll hear back from anyone. However, you can improve your chances with the right strategies.
There are plenty of ways to stand out during the job search and interview process, from asking the right questions to researching the company culture. To help, 15 members of Forbes Human Resources Council share their tips for putting your best foot forward as a job applicant.
01. Review the Company’s Mission
Take the time to review the company’s mission and vision or core values and speak to your alignment with those practices during your interviews. Where it makes sense, you might want to weave your targeted company’s mission, vision or values into your resume as it aligns with your past performance outcomes or areas of responsibility. – Alexandria Brown, Transmission
02. Show How You Add Value
Showcase how you can add value to the company. Talk about your skills, talents, personality and unique background that will contribute to building a diverse and innovative company culture. NCR continues to build a culture where innovation is much more than a word inserted into a mission statement. We are building a culture where innovation thrives. – Patrice Graves, NCR Corporation
03. Explain How You Meet The Job Requirements
Applicants can stand out when they highlight how they meet the requirements of the job. That might be highlighting side projects you worked on that gave you the experience as it might not show up in positions you have held. But then you need to be able to show in an interview that you do indeed have those skills and experience. – Amy Casciotti, TechSmith Corporation
04. Research The Company
Go through a few recent press releases or recent activities of the company, such as any recent acquisitions or new product launches and announcements. This can help you start or take a conversation forward during the interviews, and show your interest in and research on the company. – Akansha Sharma, Nvidia
05. Show Attention To Detail
My company relies heavily on team members who are able to work well independently and take initiative when possible when it comes to making day-to-day decisions. We identify applicants whom we think have these qualities by looking specifically for those who can follow directions impeccably and who have a very high level of attention to detail throughout the application and interview process. – Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.
06. Come Prepared
Applicants can stand out if they come prepared for an interview with an understanding of the organization and the position for which they are interviewing. Applicants should review the postings to which they are applying and briefly research the employer prior to the interview. This allows applicants to formulate targeted questions and demonstrate an appropriate motivation for applying. – Alden Coffin, Forward Merch LLC
07. Personalize The Interview
Study the interviewer’s LinkedIn page. Think about how you can casually insert something into the conversation that lets them know you know something about them. This shows that you take an interest in others. By personalizing the conversation (albeit not too much), they’ll get a sense that you can seamlessly connect with others on your team and external stakeholders, as well. – Jessica Kriegel, Experience.com
08. Use The STAR Method
Be more prepared than the person interviewing you and remember to S.T.A.R. it. The STAR method helps you stand out and frame your answers in this method. S-Situation: describe the event; T-Task: tell them what you were responsible for; A-Action: what did you do to accomplish the task; and R-Result: what was a tangible or real measurable result from your actions during the situation. Good Luck! – Greg Henderson, Whirks
09. Explain Your Next Moves
Paint your career picture. As a human resources leader, I want to know how this role fits in your long-term career plan and what makes this role essential to your ultimate career goal. I’m always impressed with the candidates that have done their research and holistically know why my organization and this role make the most logical sense as their next move. – Nakisha Griffin, Neustar Security Services
10. Show You’re A Brand Ambassador
Most job seekers already know to customize their resumes, research the company and prepare questions prior to interviewing. But those who really want to make an impression should demonstrate that they’re brand ambassadors for current or former employers. By sharing company news, articles, events and volunteer activities on social media, candidates demonstrate their dedication to the company in advance. – John Feldmann, Insperity
11. Ask Good Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask good questions! You’re interviewing the organization to see if it’s a good fit just as much as they’re interviewing you. We’re big on seeing what candidates can add to our company culture at my company and welcome candidates who respectfully challenge us and are seeking a work environment in which they’ll be successful. – Joshua Siler, HiringThing
12. Create A Video Biography
Video biographies are an incredible way to showcase who you truly are in a short amount of time. Giving a short bio, a snapshot of your resume and quick introduction to who you are will showcase a really personal side of your personality while speaking directly to a hiring manager, bypassing the hoops needed for the first interview. In under 30 seconds, you can grab someone’s attention. – Leigh Yanocha, Knopman Marks Financial Training
13. Be Yourself
Be you! Don’t try to use all the buzz words and not be authentic, companies can see through those facades. You are enough and being your true authentic self is what will help you shine. – Iman Abbasi, Symbotic
14. Explain Your Motivation
From the beginning of CYPHER LEARNING, my advice always was, think about what truly motivates you and how this matches the company’s interests. We seek to hire highly motivated people who find purpose in working for our company. I believe it’s impossible to fake enthusiasm during job interviews, and we look for skilled applicants whose passion shines through. – Graham Glass, CYPHER LEARNING
15. Be Authentic
Understand the culture, the business, the environment and the results you think you can help achieve. Put them at ease with authenticity by demonstrating your grasp of failures you have learned from as much as successes you have achieved. Develop a growth mindset in your life so that you show evident potential to grow that they can trust and want to pay for over time. – David Alsop, Ultradent Products, Inc.
Source: Expert Panel® at Forbes