9 ways job seekers can stand out

Posted January 20, 2016 by

Whether it be college students or other young job seekers, finding employment doesn’t necessarily come easily to college students. However, the more effort college students put into their job searches, the more they will get out of them. Amber Stover, Director of Talent Acquisition for Edmunds.com, provides tips for anyone seeking to improve their job searches and stand out from the crowd.

amber stover

Amber Stover, Director of Talent Acquisition for Edmunds.com

“9 tips for young job-seekers:

1. Be strategic in applying for positions as opposed to blanketing your resume everywhere you see an open position. Many people apply for a number of postings in one organization not realizing recruiters will see the same name repeatedly and think of the boy who cried wolf. Inevitably, that person will be considered for nothing. Read the job descriptions carefully and apply only for positions where you actually can demonstrate you meet the qualifications.

2. Customize your resume for each open position rather than sending a generic resume every time you want to be considered. Highlighting your most relevant skills will make you the best candidate for the position. Plug key words prominently into your resume to reflect the must-have qualifications from the job description. If you are applying for a variety of positions, have multiple versions of your resume ready to be adjusted accordingly.

3. Ensure that your resume formatting is easy to read quickly. Convey your qualifications in concise bullets, not paragraphs. Make it easy for your strengths to stand out, not getting buried in unnecessary details.

4. Have something on hand you’re prepared to quickly submit as a writing sample and/or examples of your work product if the types of jobs you’re going for are likely to need evidence of skills that you’ve demonstrated in the past.

5. Cover letters aren’t read as much as they used to be, but they are still worth creating, especially if writing is an important part of the position. Keep your cover letter simple and to the point. Most recruiters are engaged in a mass review process and are likely to overlook dense paragraphs. Directly indicate the main reason you should be hired, customized to the job you’re applying for, and politely indicate you appreciate the consideration and can meet at any time. Triple check for typos and other errors before sending.

Take advantage of opportunities to set yourself apart:

Lilyana Vynogradova/Shutterstock.com

Lilyana Vynogradova/Shutterstock.com

6. Be conversational and personable at career fairs and networking events. Get people to like you and want to talk with you by showing your personality first, then proving your qualifications later. Many candidates at such events are nervous and just spew a resume rather than being themselves and making a good impression.

7. Ask for networking informational interviews of leaders in the field you’re looking to grow in. Many accomplished professionals are happy to make time for promising young people, and those relationships can set you on a productive career path.

8. Research the company and the people you will interview with, and prepare thoughtful and relevant questions.

9. Pursue internships and other professional experiences that will give you material for your resume and interviews.
Above all, go into the process with the knowledge that it will be hard but worthwhile. Essentially everyone gets more rejections than interviews. Don’t get discouraged. Be persistent. Learn from each experience and make improvements on your resume and interviewing skills every step of the way.”

Amber Stover is the Director of Talent Acquisition for Edmunds.com, the premier car shopping destination and a winner of Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Best Place to Work in Los Angeles” accolade every year since 2010. Amber brings nearly 10 years of recruiting experience to her position at Edmunds.

This January, College Recruiter is sharing the advice and opinions of employers and career development experts to assist students connect the dots on their path to career success. Visit College Recruiter’s blog and connect with College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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