Standing Out From The Crowd


With another big tax deadline coming to a close, accounting firms are once again looking to hire and amp up their teams for the new year.  If you are looking for a new career opportunity, then this article, as well as others on our blog, can be a great tool for you in your search.

When I was younger and my family went skiing, I never had to worry about getting lost on the slopes because my uncle wore this ridiculously bright and outdated ski suit.  It unfortunately consisted of neon blue skin-tight bell bottoms, a matching neon blue beanie and a neon coral puffy ski jacket.  Although he was a couple decades out of place, he ALWAYS stood out.

How Can You Stand Out to Job Recruiters?

With the current state of the economy, recruiters are flooded with resumes every day.  And they don’t like to play “Where’s Waldo?” when sorting through them.  They’re only looking for the resumes that catch their eye, the ones that pop off the page.  So strip off that red and white striped shirt that allows you to blend in with the crowd, and instead don something more like my uncle’s neon ski suit.  Here’s some tips on how to stand out  to job recruiters when sending in your resume. Try to get referred to a job recruiter

First of all, try to get referred to a recruiter.  Just a referral alone will get your resume a second glance. Linked In is a great way to connect with other candidates and hopefully get referred to a recruiter.  Most importantly, mention the name of the person who recommended you in the body of the email you send.  The subject of your first email to a recruiter should be the job title followed by your name.  Address the recruiter by his or her first name to give the letter a more personal feel.  And although it seems like sending twenty emails will get you noticed, one friendly but professional email will suffice.  The text of the email should consist of a cover letter with about three paragraphs full of specific and compelling reasons on why you are the perfect fit for the position and the company.  And for goodness sake’s- please actually read the job description!  Really, I’m begging you.  Don’t push for an opening that only fits your previous job experience if you squint your eyes and tilt your head a little. Recruiters look for very specific things in candidates such as years of experience, particular industries, certain degrees, past employment, and stability.  But remember, unlike hiring managers, a recruiter can put your resume aside and pull it back out later when a better-suited position opens up.  Your cover letter also gives you the chance to explain any gaps in employment that can be seen on your resume.  Be sure to include your current salary range.  Make sure that there are no typos and be succinct and to the point in your writing style. Call your job recruiter

The next step is to call your recruiter.  Call earlier in the day before things start to get really hectic. Try to be the first person he or she talks to.  Then meet face to face with your recruiter.  If this particular position isn’t right for you, being able to picture your face will help him think of you first for positions that open up in the future.  It is also important that your recruiter can experience your excellent communication skills so he can advertise them to future employers.   Show your recruiter that you are reliable before he even begins working with you by returning all phone calls in a timely manner. Keeping a friendly but strictly professional relationship with your recruiter is imperative.  Even after placement, contact your recruiter every three to six months just to check in.  Next time you decide to change jobs you will have someone in mind to help you.  If you are not actively looking at the time, stand out by referring other people. Just remember that the people you refer will be a reflection of your judgment.

Job recruiters will be looking at your resume for something compelling in your background, whether it’s impressive work experience, stability, or apparent leadership, which signifies that you are the right one for the job.  Your previous work experience should show that you are on a consistent path leading towards your professional ambitions. In your resume try to focus on the tasks you’ve completed and your responsibilities instead of your honors and awards.  List specific accomplishments from each of your past jobs.  Really think about the specific job description and company and emphasize on your resume the experience that is most relevant to those criteria.  Research the company’s philosophy and culture and mold your summary to best fit their interests.  For more specific details on how to format your resume check out The 6 Most Important Resume Elements.  Making your resume stand out isn’t about having years of experience at one of the big four firms, it’s about being a perfect fit for the position.

The first step in finding your dream job is standing out to a job recruiter.  Unfortunately, in the midst of a recession there are so many competitive candidates out there trying to do the same thing.  However, as a recruiter I know these tips will definitely make you the brightest crayon in the box.  So although I never thought I’d be advising anyone to dress like my uncle- embrace the neon blue bell bottoms!