Job Hunters: Here's How You Can Stand Out From the Pack

If you’re looking for work, these seven clever tactics can make you a memorable candidate

by Nancy Collamer • Next Avenue
man holding job search chalkboard image
Photograph: Shutterstock.com

Though the economy is beginning to improve, many employers are overloaded with job applicants and extremely choosy about who they’ll hire. So if you want to land a position, you’ve got to find a way to stand out from the pack.

That’s especially true for anyone over 50, who often faces the added burden of being viewed by hiring managers as overpriced, overqualified or out of touch.

(MORE: Unconventional Career Advice You Need to Hear)

How can you set yourself apart from the masses?

To answer that question, I turned to my colleagues in the career advice world — authors, coaches and job-search strategists — and asked for their recommendations. As you’ll soon learn, just making a few small changes in your approach can increase your odds of getting hired.

7 Ways to Get Yourself Noticed

1. Tweak your resumé’s keywords every time you apply for a job. The vast majority of employers use computer-based applicant tracking systems to screen and filter job applications. That’s why it’s essential to include specific keywords and phrases from their job postings on your resumé.

“Smart job seekers stand out by customizing their resumés to reflect the appropriate terms used in the job descriptions — after carefully reading them,” says Susan Joyce of Marlborough, Mass., editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org and WorkCoachCafe.com, two popular job-advice sites.

(MORE: Create a Winning Midlife Resume to Get Hired)

By customizing your resumé to fit the job profile, your application is more likely to get through the initial screening process and into the hands of the hiring manager.

For example, if you’re a computer programmer, you might cite your expertise with the particular software programs or programming languages named in the employer’s posting.

Yes, continually tailoring your resumé to the jobs you want takes work and a little time. But that’s the point. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Next: Five Minute Fixes For A Job Interview

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Zizwarek06.19.2013

I graduated in 2004 with a degree in Biology and found work even before I graduated from college. Now the government has regulated the medical field. I have nearly 5 years as a lab technician and have approached 3 colleges and thier department leaders to inquire about their Medical Technologist program. I informed them of my medical degree and experience and to my surprise all 3 colleges quickly brushed me off. I was told I had to start all over to go into thier respective program. How ludicrous I thought to start college all over again especially all my classes were pre-med. So,has anyone else out there going through the same thing? Have a new degree and the expereince but the doors shut when one wants to pursue further to reestablish her own field to go through the regulatory process? I did not know college degrees have an expiration date!!!

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