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9 Tips From Recruiters On Standing Out In a Challenging Job Market

Kristin Bachman
5 min read

In today's fast-paced and fiercely competitive job market, securing the right role can feel like navigating a maze.

Job seekers often wonder what it takes to stand out amidst a sea of equally qualified candidates (especially when recruiters and employers spend an average of six to seven seconds looking at a resume).

To help unravel this mystery and gain valuable insights, we turned to the experts themselves: real recruiters with their fingers on the pulse of current hiring trends and the overall talent landscape.

From conducting thorough research on a company's career site to the type of LinkedIn photo to use, these insider tips from Hunt Club recruiters can equip candidates with the knowledge and strategies they need to stand out in today's hyper-competitive landscape. 


9 Tips From Recruiters On How To Stand Out In This Hyper-Competitive Landscape

In an increasingly tough job market, advice from recruiters and talent acquisition specialists on how to stand out can be tide-turning for many candidates.

Here’s a roundup of the top tips and insights from three of Hunt Club’s recruiters.

Tips From Kristy Smith, Sr. Search Manager

headshot portrait of Kristy Smith, Sr. Search Manager at Hunt Club


 “Support others. Be a helper. If a role isn’t totally right for you, help someone you know who is. You never know when they might return the favor.” 

- Kristy Smith, Sr. Search Manager

Kristy has over 15 years of experience in marketing, corporate communications, client relations, and brand development in healthcare, nonprofit, and boutique agency settings. She’s passionate about helping top talent find great opportunities and enjoys partnering with her clients to help them grow their businesses.



Always Respond to a Recruiter

  • “Always respond to or follow up with a recruiter even if you're not interested. It’s a great opportunity to build your network. You never know when you may need to reach back out in the future for help making your next career move or finding the next hard-to-find rockstar for your own team.

Building a relationship with a recruiter means you’ll have an expert you can lean on when you need info about market trends, want to better understand competitive market compensation, and more.

Plus, making a new friend never hurts and can pay dividends in the future.

It’s a Two-Way Street: Help Recruiters Refine a Search

  • “When a recruiter reaches out about a role that you're not interested in or doesn’t align, take the opportunity to share with them the types of roles/titles, industries, and companies you are interested in along with the comp range you would need to be in to consider a new opportunity. 

I guarantee you they will take note and reach back out if a role comes up that would be a perfect fit. The more insight and specific examples you can share on what you’re looking for next, the easier it will be for opportunity to knock on your door.

What Goes Around, Comes Around: The Power of Referring Your Network For Roles

  • “Support others. Be a helper. If a role isn’t totally right for you, help someone you know who is. Think about your network, look through your LinkedIn connections, and see who else in your network might be a good fit for the role or is looking for something new.

Share their LinkedIn profile with the recruiter and offer to make a warm intro. It could lead to a great career move for them, and you never know when they might return the favor.


Tips From Marnie Katz, Associate Director, Search

headshot portrait of Marnie Katz, Associate Director of Search at Hunt Club

Remember that you are more than just a resume; your personality often sets you apart from others. A recruiter will definitely focus on your personality, recognizing the overall value and culture-add you’d bring to an organization.”

- Marnie Katz, Associate Director, Search

Marnie is part of the GTM Marketing practice at Hunt Club with a focus and specialization in building high-performing Marketing teams for high-growth organizations. She takes pride in her strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build enduring relationships, leading to a significant number of repeat clients.



Enthusiasm, Through and Through

  • "From informal conversations with recruiters to round in the interview process, demonstrating enthusiasm is critical throughout the hiring process. Companies are interested in understanding why this particular opportunity excites you personally, rather than hearing generic reasons for accepting the call.

Organizations seek the right candidates who appreciate their passion, mission, and unique product. It is important to showcase your understanding of what makes these companies special and why their work resonates with you!"

It’s Not Always About the Perfect Resume

  • “Let your personality shine! Soft skills hold equal importance to hard skills, and the significance of company culture has increased significantly nowadays. While qualifications and job proficiency are important, not everyone possesses the ability to collaborate effectively, be a team player, and maintain a positive reputation in the workplace. 

    Remember that you are more than just a resume; your personality often sets you apart from others. A recruiter will definitely focus on your personality, recognizing the overall value and culture-add you’d bring to an organization.”

Do Your Research

  • “Prior to your job interview, it's important to conduct thorough research. Familiarize yourself with the role's responsibilities and explore the company's website. Ensure you have a good understanding of their products by reviewing their social media, blogs, and any available news articles. Take the time to look up the leadership team on LinkedIn. Seek commonalities with the hiring manager, such as shared connections or mutual interests. 

By demonstrating your knowledge and engagement during the interview, you will appear more informed and enthusiastic about the opportunity  (See Tip #1).  You will instantly gain credibility and build rapport."

Communicate Openly and Honestly So Everyone Can Win

  • “Foster open and transparent communication with your recruiters; they are your advocates and want you to win (together). Share relevant information proactively and communicate frequently. Keep them informed about your status with other opportunities.  Be upfront and honest about what is needed in order to make a move so it can be communicated to the client early on and is also respectful of everyone’s time. 

Remember that recruiters are there to present you in the best light and surprises at the last moment can create unnecessary challenges, erode trust with the client, and hinder our shared goal of placing you in the role.”


Tips From Damon O’Donnell, Executive Director, Search

portrait headshot of damon o'donnell


“Having a strong presentation on LinkedIn goes a long way in securing a positive first impression with any recruiter or search professional.”

- Damon O'Donnell, Executive Director, Search

Damon has four years of experience in search and currently focuses on executive-level placements in operations, strategy, and business leadership. He regularly works with top venture capital and private equity firms to place CXO leaders across their portfolio companies. 




LinkedIn: Where First Impressions Are Made

  • "It may seem self-explanatory, but be sure to craft a LinkedIn profile that correctly lists the companies you have worked for, the dates at those companies, and ideally a few words of context around each role. 

    Accuracy is key when it comes to your work experience! It can be frustrating for recruiters to piece together disparate bits of information and your work history, and having a strong presentation on LinkedIn goes a long way in securing a positive first impression with any search professional."


The Power of a Photo

  • "Include a photo! I am not somebody who relishes having my picture taken, but for a LinkedIn profile, I think it’s very important to select a photo that conveys a bit of your personality and humanizes the content. Your photo can be fun, but it should always follow basic guidelines of tasteful professionalism."


Need Another Competitive Edge? Join the Expert Community 

In today's competitive job market, standing out is more crucial than ever. These invaluable insights and recruiting tips — from conducting thorough research to demonstrating honest enthusiasm for a role — can shed light on the strategies that make a world of difference in a job search. 

A final tip to stand out and make yourself marketable to recruiters?

Join the Expert Network, a well-connected community of industry leaders and professionals offering invaluable support in finding exciting opportunities for you and your contacts.

Whether you're a job candidate actively searching for a new opportunity or eager to support your friends/contacts in their job hunt, the Expert Network can be leveraged as an invaluable competitive edge. The Expert Network is comprised of 20,000+ well-connected industry leaders and professionals, and as a member, you gain access to exclusive job boards, can make referrals to open positions, and connect with fellow thought leaders to enhance your career prospects.


Join The Network


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