Stand Out to a Recruiter with These Tips


Given today’s job market, it is invaluable to stand out from your peers in every way possible. While the purely competitive nature of the job search world can be discouraging, there are ways to make a positive, lasting impression that lets you have an aura of uniqueness in the process. One of those ways, and possibly the most effective, is to stand out not only to the potential employers, but also the recruiters in the industry of choice. This article highlights three practices that will make you stand out to a recruiter. 

Stand out tip #1: Do your research

In this way, employers and recruiters are very similar: they want to see how committed you are to their process and organizations, and so they want you to do your research. Find out how the company operates and how your role with them will make an impact. More than that, it is valuable to know both the industry and company standards for workplace etiquette, pay, policies, and so much more. There are a lot of ways you can find out more information, not least of which is connecting with people at the company of interest or in the industry of interest and asking them questions about the role you are applying to. 

Beyond just the “nuts and bolts” of the job, it may also be useful to learn the company’s mission statement, editorial policies, and more. Perhaps this could lead to you having common ground with a group you previously had not considered, or maybe this information will steer you away from an organization or statement you cannot get behind. Maybe nothing will come of it whatsoever, but at least then you will know what they stand for. Knowledge is power, even if that power is not actively used.

Stand out tip #2: Learn to communicate with the recruiter

Communication is the key to any healthy personal relationship – and that rule applies to professional relationships as well. When you are talking with your recruiter, do more than just “talk shop.” Talk with them. Figure out what drives them, and then you can harness that knowledge as well. Again, maybe you will find common ground, maybe you will not, but either way, you may come out of the situation with a friend in your corner. 

The best way to stand out to a recruiter is by communicating with them. Asking them questions and listening to their answers. This means taking the time and effort to actively listen to them and learn from them. Ask questions about the role. Listen to the answers provided. Ask follow up questions. Ask a lot of follow up questions. These questions can be broad or very narrow, dissecting a single piece of the job’s responsibilities. If a recruiter does not have the answer to the question, they may make a note of the question and often refer your questions to subject-matter experts: the hiring team for the role. If you ask a specific question, that may give you a leg up on others in the field when it comes to your interview. When you ask questions, you build a rapport with others that can be incredibly valuable. 

Stand out tip #3: Be appreciative of the recruiter

This is probably the simplest step, but perhaps the most vital. It does not matter how well-read you are, or learned, or how many questions you ask; there is no excuse to not be courteous. Yes, recruiting people is the job of the recruiter, so why do they need and deserve praise? Well, those compliments and appreciative remarks are what keep them in their field, helping you find a job. Think about it this way: have you ever received a compliment at work? If so, how did it make you feel? Probably pretty good; now transfer those good feelings to the recruiters trying to get you a job (and with a little luck, more compliments).

Being appreciative of someone else’s work takes no extra effort and it can really make you stand out to others in the crowd. A person is more likely to remember and want to continue to help someone who was pleasant to them, rather than someone rude, mean, or even indifferent. Being appreciative is one of the best ways to stand out to a recruiter.

These tips are good rules to live and work by regardless of your job status. However, when you are looking for a particular job in a particular way, conducting research, asking questions while actively listening to the communicated information, and being genuinely appreciative of the people trying to help you can really set you apart from the pile of applications. Take the time to incorporate these methods into your own job hunt and you will undoubtedly see results. 

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