The tech industry is becoming more competitive to break into. For the first time in many years, the supply of tech talent might exceed the demand. As a result, many professionals will need to take a more proactive approach to stand out if they want to get a job offer. “Given the current economic climate and the amount of unemployment, taking the time to stand out from the competition is important,” says Mike Potenza, Vice President of ES Technology, a division of The Execu|Search Group. “Anything you can do to give yourself an edge over the competition can only help your chances of landing a new role.”
Not sure where to start? Here are 5 job search tips below that technical candidates can use to stand out from the competition.
Personalize and tailor each cover letter
While the necessity of cover letters has been a hotly debated topic, they tend to play a more important role in a competitive job market. “In many cases, your cover letter is the first impression you will make on an organization,” advises Mike. “You will need to personalize each letter you send out if you want to get an interview.”
When writing your cover letter, ensure you are showcasing the right, relevant experience at the beginning. This includes any relevant projects you worked on that correlate with the job description of the role, as well as industry experience. These differentiators can bring you to the top of the hiring manager’s application pool.
Highlight correlating experience or transferable skills
Follow up on your application
Despite being a great fit for many roles you are applying to, do you feel like your resume is going into a black hole of applications? If so, you may want to follow up with the HR team. Each situation will be different, but a good rule of thumb is to wait two business days before following up. This will ensure you haven’t missed HR’s vetting process, but are walking a thin line between being persistent and overeager. “You don’t want to be a pest, but you also want to be diligent and not miss out on the opportunity,” says Mike. “At the end of the day, it’s in the hiring manager’s best interest to fill these roles. If you can grab their attention by following up, they may flag your resume and push it through to the right person.”
Send a thoughtful thank you note
If you have been able to get noticed by a hiring manager and land an interview, remember to send a thank you note. It is one of the most overlooked things a candidate can do to improve their chances of landing a job. “There are so many times we’ve helped a candidate land a job when the employer was on the fence because they took the initiative to put together a nice thank you note,” says Mike. “This is especially helpful if you didn’t give a great answer to an interview question or there were any concerns about your background. If you address these issues within your thank you note, it can help your chances of getting an offer.”
Work with a recruiter
If you feel lost in your job search and need some guidance, it can be extremely beneficial to work with a staffing firm. “Connections make an immense difference in the hiring process. Recruiters have the hiring manager’s ears and shortcuts into those roles,” says Mike. “If you align yourself with a reputable staffing firm and build relationships with these recruiters, you’ll have a leg up over the competition that’s searching for jobs alone.”
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