We live in the digital world, and that has affected every aspect of our lives — including the way we work and apply for jobs. Plus, the circumstances we’re now experiencing, from an ongoing pandemic to the Great Resignation, are transforming the hiring process in myriad ways.
Now, a resume alone won’t cut it when you’re trying to land that coveted role. While the job market is on the candidate’s side, you still need to find a way to stand out from other qualified professionals. Here are four components you should consider adding to your application.
1. LinkedIn profile
Many recruiters and hiring managers look to LinkedIn first, before even reviewing the candidate’s resume. Your profile shouldn’t replace your resume, though. It should tell a cohesive story about who you are as a professional. Use key components like a headline, professional photo, recommendations, work history, credentials, publications and more to present a narrative of your career story.
In many fields, hiring managers want to see samples of your work so they can get a taste of your skills and style. Showcase your qualifications with a virtual portfolio. If you’re a writer, you should have clips of your articles and bylines on a website, while a filmmaker might offer clips. A software developer, too, can highlight work samples of projects. Be creative (especially if you’re in a creative field) in how you display your past work.
3. Courses and credentials
There are many opportunities to upskill today. Consider, for example, the numerous MOOC markets — Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Khan Academy, Udacity and edX, to name just a few. Completing courses and earning credentials serve as a testament to an applicant’s abilities — and can boost your candidacy.
4. Cover letter
It’s easy to overlook your cover letter. Does it still matter?
In short, yes — this is a chance for you to tell a narrative about your career. With so many qualified candidates to choose from, hiring managers are looking for a way to separate the candidates who are the best fit from the rest, and your cover letter can make you rise to the top. It also gives you an opportunity to explain any circumstances that might concern hiring managers or recruiters, such as resume gaps.
Of course, there are other materials you may be asked to include or elect to provide, depending on your unique situation and industry. For example, you might submit a video resume (even a TikTok resume), social media profiles beyond your LinkedIn account and more. It’s up to you to flex your creative muscles and draw attention to yourself and your competencies.
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.