More than a third of US employers are adding additional full-time talent to their teams this year, in a wide range of roles from sales to technology.
According to CareerBuilder, hiring for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) occupations will be strong in 2015 with 31 percent of hiring managers planning to create jobs in these areas over the next 12 months, up from 26 percent last year.
This means more and more prospective candidates will be applying to these open positions. If you want to stand out in the interview and selection process, it is important to put effort into packaging yourself as a qualified candidate for these newly created jobs.
Here are some tips to help you land your next opportunity.
Related Article: Interviews & First Dates: The Tools You Need to Get to #2
It's All About the Brand Individual: LinkedIn Matters
Even before you start looking for your next gig, it's important to develop your own brand. In our era, having a digital footprint is inevitable, but with platforms like LinkedIn, you can have some control over how your professional persona is viewed.
Take the time to update and edit your LinkedIn profile to accurately reflect your skillset and accomplishments using industry standard language people may be searching. LinkedIn for recruiters is much like Google is for search, it's the goldmine.
In your profile, link to your resume posted online. Visualize.me allows you to easily create an infographic of your resume for free.
Convert Resume to a PDF to Make Contact Information Clickable
If you convert your resume to a PDF, you can make your email and social handles clickable. This makes it that much easier for those recruiters to contact you, and it also shows you really understand how modern technology works. Here's how to do it:
- In the menu bar, select View > Tools > Content
- In the menu, click the Link button
- Your cursor will change to the (+) symbol. Use this tool to click and drag, drawing a box around the text that you want to link.
- Once you have completed drawing the box, release the mouse button. The create link dialog box will display.
- Select the Open a web page option and hit Next
- Type in the website address to which you want to link
- Click ok
Publish Content and Your Resume Online
As mentioned previously, establishing your own brand and investing the time to share your learnings and expertise moves you to the top of the pack. Why? It shows recruiters that you are passionate about your industry and stay up to date with technology. It also proves your written communication ability, which in today's world is essential in any role. Some places you can publish content and your resume include:
- LinkedIn: anyone can publish content. Look for the "Publish a Post" button within Pulse, and be sure to add visuals for impact.
- If you're an expert in marketing, technology, sales, HR, finance or management, our Market Expert program here at Business.com
- Dice if you are in tech or engineering. They also have a Career Toolkit and Skills Center which could help provide clarification of the terminology for those job listings.
- MediaBistro for media professionals. If anything, you can see the skills required for jobs here and if you don't have them, you can find ways to learn them.
Related Article: How to Get Further in the Interview Process
Participate in Open Source Projects (For Engineers)
Recruiting software like Gild aggregate public coding contributions and rank expertise in different coding languages. If you are an engineer, participating in these open source projects on GitHub or answering Questions on Stackoverflow’s Q&A board increase your score, helping you become more desirable to recruiters. Here's a look at the Gild Source interface and how it ranks engineers based on their participations.
Prepare for Your Interviews
Prior to going into a phone interview or in-person interview, find out whom you will be speaking with and review their LinkedIn profile to learn more about their role within the company, so you can tailor your talking points to them in the interview. The hiring manager will want to cover different areas than a cross-functional manager or HR Manager, so be prepared to speak to a wide range of audiences if the company’s process includes that.
Most hiring managers have a short list of “must-have’s” and a very long list of “nice to haves,” and if possible, find out from the recruiter or HR professional you are working with what the non-negotiables are for the position. Having that information will help you prepare a focused conversation with the hiring manger. If one of the “nice to have’s” on the posting is something you do not have experience with, be prepared to give an example of how you have adopted new skill sets and experience in the past. If you can exhibit a willingness and track record of constantly learning and expanding your familiarity, the lack of experience will not be as much of an issue if it is not a core competency for the position.
Polish Your Social Media Profiles
Most employers know better than to make hiring decisions based on information they can view on a potential employees’ personal social media profile. However, it may not do you any favors if your public pictures or posts are not in line with the business’ core values or ethics.
It is always safe to use the "New York Times test," this means if you have public profiles like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, make sure you are only posting content you would be comfortable publishing on the front page of the New York Times. Otherwise, it’s time to clean up those Tweets and Instagram posts.
Tweet, Tag and Pin Content That the Company is Sharing
Most brands realize they need to share content and engage with their audience through content marketing and social media; therefore your dream company is likely posting a lot of content. By sharing their content on your social media profiles, it will show the hiring team that you pay attention to the brand and like to find creative ways to stand out in interview process.
You can try posts like “Just read this white paper from ‘CompanyX’, I love when brands share actionable content with their audience, I would love to work for them!” If you are applying to a small-to-medium sized company, word will likely get back to the hiring team that an applicant has been interacting with the brand through social media.
Pro-tip: Make sure you read the section above and clean up your social media profiles if you are drawing attention to them. You should also confirm your posts are public, otherwise the brand may not see where the post came from.
Find Ways to Make a Lasting Impression
While sending a follow up note or email is completely standard there are creative ways to stay top of mind as a candidate. I once heard of someone who wanted to get in at a company so he found out what magazines the hiring manager reads, ordered subscriptions for him and had it delivered to him. The one twist is that he put the subscription name as his own. Each month when the hiring manager received the magazine, he was reminded of the candidate since the candidate's name was on the magazine.
Finding out-of-the-box ideas like this one will help separate you from your peers.