How To Stand Out In The Application Process

We take our hiring process very seriously in order to protect our company culture and one of the most important steps of the interview process happens before we even meet the candidate. Reviewing applications is a time-consuming process. When we're filtering through resumes, after about 50 applicants it’s hard to stand out. Whether you’re currently hiring for your business or you’re in the midst of a job search, we’ve highlighted what stands out to us on an application.

Apply Directly To The Company Website

Job search websites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter are so helpful to find out what jobs openings are available, but it’s always more advisable to submit an application directly through the company website if the option is available. This allows the candidate to tailor their resume and cover letter to the specific company that they’re applying to. We’d so much rather see a candidate who demonstrates that they have read our core values and researched our company than to see an impersonal resume and cover letter that they’re sending to five other companies.

Design Gets Our Attention

When we've looked at ten black and white traditional resumes and then a creative, colorful one pops up, it definitely catches our eye. Considering we’re in an industry where aesthetic appeal is very important, a carefully crafted resume doesn’t hurt. It also showcases the candidate’s talent for design and organization. With websites like Canva, it’s actually quite easy to transform a standard resume into a work of art.

Industry Experience is Awesome, But We Also Appreciate Transferable Experience

While it would be ideal for all of our candidates to arrive with 2-5 years of industry experience, in the social media game that’s hard to come by considering how young our industry is. Therefore, we don’t rule out candidates who have experience in other fields that could translate to the fundamentals of the role we’re hiring for. We have a great deal of confidence in our training process to ensure that a new hire has a thorough understanding of our processes, but some skills can’t be taught. For example, the ability to please clients and communicate effectively can be developed in a variety of ways and we love when a candidate has creative and client-facing experience.

Don’t Over Share

While we are very impressed if a candidate has job experience from as early as 18 years old, we don’t necessarily need to know about a six month retail job during their college years. We appreciate when applicants keep their job history to the past five years in order to fit their resume on one page. When a resume is more than a page it’s easy for the reviewer to get lost in the overflow of information.

Always Write A Cover Letter And Make It Exciting From The Very First Line

After we decide that the candidate’s resume is a good fit, our next step is to read their cover letter. The cover letter reveals a great deal about the candidate's personality that a resume cannot, and it’s important to grab our attention in the first sentence. If the cover letter starts with “My name is Sophie and I’m a great fit for your company because,” it doesn’t exactly win us over. We’re looking for confidence, how the candidate will contribute to the team, and we want to learn why they’ll be a good fit outside of the experience we just read on the resume.

Invest In The Tools

If you’re hiring candidates for your company, we recommend investing in tools to help you in the process. They will ultimately make your job easier and improve the quality of the candidates you hire. We use Hireology as our primary hiring platform. It has an easy-to-use interface and allows for the hiring process to be a collaborative effort among the team. Another platform that we have recently started to explore is SparkHire, a service that allows candidates to record their own video interviews. We are using the video interview format to avoid the time-consuming phone screen step in our application process.

The hiring process is challenging regardless of what side of the application you’re on. In such a competitive atmosphere, it’s so important to stand out right from the beginning of the application process. We hope these tips and tricks are helpful to land you the candidate or the job that you’ve dreamed of!

Story By: Sophie Duncan