5 ways to stand out in a candidate pool

As job growth slows in the United States, it’s more important than ever to know how to stand out in a candidate pool. If you’re one of 250 applying for the same job, how will you make yourself stand out?

Even if your resume gets your foot in the door, what will you do when you’re in front of the employer that will make them think of you for the position versus another candidate?

You must do the following five things if you want to stand out.

Do your research

Nothing is more embarrassing than being unable to talk about the company you’re interviewing for. If you don’t know anything about them, how can you talk about how you’ll help their pain points?

You can’t.

Take an hour or two and get to know the company intimately. Read press releases, news articles, and any information they provide on their website. It should only take a few minutes to find the resources you need to become an expert on the company before you go to the interview.

Prepare your list of strengths and weaknesses

There’s nothing worse than stumbling over your own words when you’re interviewing. It’s standard procedure for an interviewer to ask about your strengths AND weaknesses. Don’t try to hide your areas of weakness, though. 

Instead, talk about them proudly. It shows that you take ownership of your skills and know what you need to work on. This shows employers that you’re honest and not too proud. They don’t want someone boastful – they want someone that will work hard and be honest when they need help. 

Create a plan – forecast your goals for the company

Nothing makes you stand out more than going to an interview with a plan in mind. Besides showing the company how you plan to solve their pain points, you can show them on a timeline what you hope to accomplish.

Come up with a short-term and long-term plan and present it to the interviewer. This shows that you not only did your homework, but you gave forethought to how you’ll move forward with the company. A growth mindset goes a lot further than someone who just checks off the boxes of the requirements an ad states are required.

Show drive and stamina

If you want to show an employer you want the job, you have to demonstrate it in real life. A cover letter and resume aren’t enough. Neither is going to the interview and waiting by the phone. 

Instead, continue showing your due diligence by reaching out to team members or networking with company executives as much as you can. This shows the employer that you have an interest in the company’s culture, and you want to determine if you fit in with their protocols. 

Provide samples of your work

If it’s feasible, bring along samples of your work or even create a sample specifically for the company you’re interviewing for. Let them see your work in action as well as your drive to show them how you work.

They’ll remember your samples and determination when management discusses their favorite candidates. Even if another candidate was better spoken than you or had better qualifications, sometimes the work speaks for itself. 

No matter what job you apply for, you won’t be the only candidate. You must find a way to stand out, so management remembers you.

Finding unique ways to let a company know that you’re the candidate for a job will help you beat out the competition and eventually secure your dream job.