The start of the new year in 2021 is in stark contrast with January 2020, when the U.S. was celebrating a record low unemployment rate. Over the course of 2020, the American job market steadily declined as the pandemic gripped the nation, causing economic crisis. Experts say that the job market can only get better, with a strong momentum pushing job seekers and the economy forward into repair.
For job seekers, getting an interview is half of the battle, so it’s vital that they make those minutes matter. How can you ensure that you make the best impression on recruiters? We spoke with three ECS recruiters to see how you can stand out in a competitive job market.
CORPORATE RECRUITER, IT
When applying and interviewing for your next job opportunity, it is so important to research each specific role and organization. Tailoring your resume and interview conversations to the position you are applying to can really help you to stand out from other candidates. Researching the organization that you are interviewing with really shows that you are interested and invested in the position and company. Your main goal during these conversations is to show that you are the right person for that job. By showing that you have invested time researching, it helps to market yourself to the recruiter or hiring manager.
I work mostly with information technology professionals and job seekers. In the IT field, there is so much that can be gained from others due to the rapid changes in technology and constant growth in the industry. Networking with professionals who have the same type of position you are interviewing for can help you glean insights that you might otherwise miss, which can also help in the interview progress. Happy hunting!
When I first speak to candidates in phone screens, the thing I look for is confidence. When recruiters are sourcing for a specific job, we speak to many people who have similar skill sets and qualifications. The candidates who stand out most are those who articulate and can go beyond the baseline knowledge confidently when answering questions.
The biggest piece of advice I like to give to recruits is to digest each question that you are being asked in an interview and try to explain in depth. Oftentimes, people fall into the trap of giving yes and no answers rather than taking the time to really think through the answer. For example, if I ask a network engineer candidate to explain what types of routers and switches they are comfortable with, I want to hear about specific situations in which they have used those routers, their level of knowledge, and also any challenges they have encountered. These details can be the difference between a rejection and an offer letter. Good luck!
CORPORATE RECRUITER, TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING
CORPORATE RECRUITER, CLEARED GOVERNMENT ROLES
In phone screens and interviews, preparation is what I notice first. Be on time, prepared, and ready to go. If it’s a virtual meeting, do a trial run before anyone else logs on so you know there are no connection issues. A piece of advice that I always give to prospective candidates is to research your interviewers. Taking some time before an interview to look at each interviewer’s LinkedIn can help you to develop questions for them, which will help you to stand out from other candidates. Interviewers always appreciate a follow-up from candidates as well. It shows a great personal touch, which goes a long way in the interview process.
When answering interview questions, it’s critical to let your experiences shine through. You should always answer questions with personal experiences to help contextualize your industry knowledge. This can both let the interviewer know that you have relevant job experience and give them a feel for how you handle specific situations. Plus, it gives you a chance to brag about your past achievements while answering their questions, which is a win-win. Good luck in your search!