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  • Ann Willets

Dear Candidates - No More Excuses


Recently, I was asked what it takes for a candidate to stand out, and the question has stuck with me since. I can think of a few things candidates can do to stand out, but you would think that I could offer some deep and insightful words of wisdom. I don’t, but I have a few tips for candidates that can go a long way.


Even in these times, I’d say a candidate has to write a resume that matches the job description they’re applying for. When I receive a resume that matches the position the candidate is applying for, I know they’ve paid attention to detail. I’m looking for qualified candidates, so when candidates demonstrate these specific qualifications in their resumes, they stand out to me. Too often, I get resumes that are completely irrelevant.


The next thing that makes a candidate stand out to me is effort. I pay close attention to candidates who arrive on time for interviews, are cleaned up and dressed to impress, and are prepared to have a fantastic interview. This is especially true for Zoom or “virtual” interviews. I also recommend candidates set up for interviews in a professional-looking spot with ample lighting and little distraction.


The final step in sealing a lasting impression on a recruiter is a thank you note. A thank you note goes a long way in catching a recruiter’s eye. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. A simple “thank you” email to a recruiter after an interview will let them know you’re attentive and serious about landing the job.


With virtual interviews becoming the norm, then learning more about how to make an impression through a screen is reasonable. At the end of the day, the “magic formula” is effort. Your effort will pay off in your recruiter’s and potential employer’s eyes.

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