8 Ways to Improve Your Candidacy for the Job (With Examples)
Editorial Team | On July 11, 2023
By Emi Leon
In today’s increasingly competitive job market, it’s important to do everything you can to stand out. The resume and cover letter are no longer the only factors considered in the hiring process. Employers want to see a well-rounded candidate with a mix of hard and soft skills, who can adapt to new situations and bring unique value to their team. In this article, we’ll outline nine ways to improve your candidacy for the job you desire, making you irresistible to employers.
1. Optimize Your Resume to Showcase Your Abilities
Your resume is the first point of contact with potential employers, so make it count. Don’t just list your past job titles and duties. Instead, focus on highlighting your achievements and the value you brought to your previous roles.
Use quantifiable metrics whenever possible – for example, if you increased sales or improved efficiency, give a percentage to show the extent of your impact. Tailor your resume for each job application to align with the specific skills and experience the employer is seeking.
Examples How to Optimize Your Resume
- Tailor your resume: Make sure you highlight the skills most relevant to the job you’re applying for.
- Use numbers to quantify your achievements: “Managed a team of 10 people” or “Increased website traffic by 50% over a year.”
- Use action verbs: Words like “led”, “managed”, “developed”, “initiated” can make your resume more compelling.
- List relevant certifications: If you have certificates relevant to the job, don’t forget to mention them.
- Avoid generic terms: Instead of “team player”, mention a situation where your teamwork skills shone.
2. Sharpen Your Interview Skills
The interview is your chance to make a personal impression and show employers that you’re more than just words on a page. Research common interview questions and practice your responses to them. But remember, authenticity is key. Provide examples from your past experience to illustrate your skills and qualifications. Show enthusiasm for the role and the company, and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.
Examples How to Sharpen Your Interview Skills
- Practice answering common interview questions.
- Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) when giving responses.
- Research the company and ask thoughtful questions about the role or the organization.
- Body language: Practice maintaining eye contact and use open body language to express your enthusiasm.
- Follow up after the interview with a thank-you note, reaffirming your interest in the position.
3. Harness the Power of Networking
The saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” still holds some truth in the job market. Building a professional network can open up opportunities that might not be advertised.
Attend industry events, join professional associations, and make use of platforms like LinkedIn. Reach out to people in your desired field for informational interviews to learn more about their job and the industry.
Examples How to Harness the Power of Networking
- Attend networking events in your industry.
- Join online forums or communities related to your field.
- Volunteer for industry events or conferences.
- Leverage platforms like LinkedIn: Connect with professionals, participate in discussions.
- Reach out to professionals in your desired field for advice or mentorship.
4. Strengthen Your Online Presence
In the digital age, your online presence can be as important as your resume. Employers often check candidates’ social media profiles and online portfolios. Make sure your online presence reflects your professionalism and passion for your field. Share content related to your industry, engage with others, and showcase your work if applicable.
Examples How to Strengthen Your Online Presence
- Clean up your social media profiles: Make sure all content represents you professionally.
- Use LinkedIn effectively: Share industry-related content, engage with other posts, use a professional headshot.
- Create an online portfolio if applicable.
- Start a blog or a website related to your field.
- Engage in online forums related to your industry.
5. Continue Your Professional Development
Never stop learning and developing your skills. Attend workshops, take online courses, or pursue further qualifications related to your field. This not only makes you a more desirable candidate but also shows employers that you’re proactive and committed to your professional growth.
Examples How to Continue Your Professional Development
- Pursue further education: Consider earning a higher degree or certification in your field.
- Attend webinars, workshops, and conferences.
- Subscribe to industry journals or newsletters.
- Learn a new skill related to your job. For example, if you’re in marketing, learn SEO or content creation.
- Mentor or teach others: This can help you reinforce your own knowledge.
5. Highlight Your Transferable Skills
Don’t underestimate the value of transferable skills – abilities that can be used in various jobs and sectors. These might include problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and adaptability. Highlight these skills in your resume and interviews, providing examples of how you’ve used them in different settings.
Examples How to Highlight Your Transferable Skills
- Communication: Highlight experiences where your superior communication skills played a key role.
- Leadership: Give examples where you displayed leadership, even if you weren’t in a leadership role.
- Time management: Share how you effectively managed your tasks or projects.
- Adaptability: Show how you’ve successfully adapted to changes in your previous roles.
- Problem-solving: Provide examples where your problem-solving skills led to successful outcomes.
6. Show Adaptability and Resilience
Today’s work environment is constantly changing, so employers value candidates who can adapt and remain resilient in the face of challenges. Show examples from your past work experience where you’ve had to adapt to new situations or overcome difficulties. This will demonstrate that you can handle whatever comes your way.
Examples How to Show Adaptability and Resilience
- Discuss a situation where you successfully adapted to a major change at work.
- Share an instance where you took the initiative to learn a new tool or software that improved your productivity.
- Talk about a challenging project or situation and how you navigated through it.
- Show how you bounced back from a failure or setback.
- Highlight any experiences working in diverse or multi-cultural environments, demonstrating your adaptability.
7. Understand the Company Culture
Before you apply for a job, research the company culture. Understand their values, work style, and expectations. This will help you tailor your application and interview responses to align with the company culture. It also shows employers that you’re not just interested in the job, but also in becoming part of their team.
Examples How to Understand the Company Culture
- Research about the company’s mission and values. Show how they align with yours.
- Understand the company’s work environment (like flexible work hours, remote work opportunities, etc.)
- Familiarize yourself with the company’s products or services.
- If the company is involved in any corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, show your interest or involvement in similar efforts.
- Show how your work style fits with the company’s culture.
8. Practice Self-Care
Job hunting can be stressful. Don’t forget to take care of your physical and mental health. Exercise regularly, eat healthily, get enough sleep, and take breaks when needed. This will not only help you stay positive and motivated but also ensure that you’re at your best when opportunities come.
Examples How to Practice Self-Care
- Maintain a regular exercise routine.
- Adopt a healthy diet.
- Get regular sleep: A well-rested mind is more productive and creative.
- Mindfulness practices: Try meditation or yoga for stress management.
- Pursue hobbies or activities that you enjoy and help you relax.
About the Author:
Emi Leon is a well-established bilingual recruiter with over a decade of experience. As the Co-Founder and Talent Solutions Director at Palermo Advisors, Emi leverages his unique attributes of flexibility, creativity, and curiosity in every endeavour.
Emi is an ardent advocate of remote work, driven by the power it has to connect global talent with companies worldwide. A proud alumnus of Universidad Central de Venezuela, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Psychology, graduating Magna Cum Laude. His sustained commitment to innovation in recruitment strategies continues to empower businesses around the world.
Check out other articles by best-selling authors: