In this current job market, it certainly seems the more things that make you stand out from the crowd, the more likely it will be that your resume is even loooked at. The old fashioned approach of simply listing previous experience with a short paragraph "objective" at the top is no longer enough to draw attention to your application. You might be the most qualified applicant with the best and greatest personality, but in this day and age, you have to display those qualities right out of the gate in order to even get to the interview.

I was recently navigating  through a storm of email applications and it is really starting to surprise me how few of them seemingly take anymore than five minutes to distintuish themselves from the hundreds of other candidates applying for one sole position. Things like offering a LinkedIn profile or presenting unique skillsets and explaining their value to the position will be the first things that quickly grab my attention. The first few candidates that quickly give me a reason to continue reading will be the ones who get the first opportunity to interview; the old mantra that you must grab my attention within the first thirty seconds rings even more true in the digital world.

Standing Out:

Being Social — For most modern positions, the social sphere is becoming more frequently where qualified job applicants are found. LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook have quickly become modern candidate pools. I have witnessed firsthand that often times posting a job opening via Twitter can result in some of the most qualified applicants (Of course, I do work in a more web-savvy office, so this could be explain at least part of such a trend).

Unique Qualities — People who seem like… well, people in their applications are going to be exponentially more likely to get an interview than those who are robotically applying across the board in hopes that something sticks. Rather, talk about relevant hobbies that could directly apply as skills. Are you active in any clubs? Do you actively blog? Do you enjoy language learning (hint: programs like Pimsleur German and Pimsleur French make it vastly easier)? Do you volunteer anywhere? Tell me about it, and quickly.

Know The Company — It never surprises me anymore when we call a few candidates and they have no idea they had even applied to our specific company; a pretty clear sign that they were resume blasting through Craig’s List postings. The candidates that get my immediate nod of approval for interviews are the ones whom quickly show they have done their homework. A clear understanding that they have spent some time on our website, browsing our twitter feed and just generically searching the web for what people are saying about our company goes a long way to show me that any effort we put forth will be reciprocated.

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