If you’re on the hunt for a new position, chances are you’ve been hard at working getting your resume, portfolio, and references in tip top shape. However, with the stiff competition in the IT industry, you’ll need an extra edge to rise to the top of the resume pile. Here’s how you can stand out in your job search and avoid being drowned out by the influx of talented candidates.
Share your story.
Even if you share the same skill set, the path you took to get where you are is entirely unique from the other candidates. Maybe you went to an Ivy League school, or maybe you’re an autodidact. Perhaps you founded a local IT chapter, volunteered with outreach programs, or worked as a freelancer. No matter how you found yourself at your prospective employer’s doorstep, you should share your unique perspective and history.
You might do this with a highlights section on your resume, or use your cover letter to mention which specific areas of your history draw you to the company or position’s purpose. You never know – your interviewer might have something in common with you, and this may cause your resume to catch their eye.
Be accessible online.
If one thing’s a certainty, it’s that your employer is going to Google you at some point during the hiring process. Do you know what they’ll find? If you’re very selective with what your name pulls up, you can create a great first impression before you’re even in the door. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is fully fleshed out, and add your full name to your GitHub account or other professional resources. If the interviewer can screen your resume with a quick search and find favorable results, chances are you’ll stand out in their memory.
You don’t have to stick to the cookie cutter resume or cover letter. Sure, you should always be professional when the situation calls for it, but if there’s room for creativity: take it. Submit a nontraditional yet highly functional resume, or include hobby projects in your portfolio to give them a good idea of your skill and your interests. You should avoid over attention-grabbing tactics, but if you can add nice little touches to your initial submission, your creativity won’t go unnoticed.
If your position is more technical than creative, this advice still stands. In fact, with an overwhelmingly left-brained candidate pool, your hiring manager may take interest in a professional with a varied skill set.
Standing out during the hiring process can be difficult, but these three tips can help you catch and keep your interviewer’s attention. By being open, accessible, and creative, you can land your next great IT position in no time.