Standing out from the crowd in a candidate rich market

“The times they are a changing” – that’s what Bob Dylan said, and it’s certainly feels like it at the moment.

Back in March at the beginning of lockdown we thought that demand for contract support in the digital learning space would remain high, however the impact of a global lockdown saw projects being put on hold or permanently cancelled as nearly all industries came grinding to a halt.

Fast forward four months and as the economy starts to kick on the demand for project support is beginning to grow. Whilst this is great news for the industry and a welcome relief, we now find ourselves in a market where competition is incredibly high, with job adverts on LinkedIn receiving hundreds of applications. So, what can you do to stand out? Here are a couple of suggestions:

1) Prepare a portfolio! In a situation where you’re up against high volume of competition there’s no better way to stand out than to showcase your skills with a good quality portfolio. If a hiring manager can get a feel for what you bring to the table, it will always help progress your application quickly. If your project work is all under NDA then spend some time designing / developing some creative examples to really show off your skills in their absolute best light.

2) CV – make sure that your CV is up to date, clearly showcases your talent and experience, be sure to list any achievements / awards that you’ve received. In my opinion the ideal CV length is around 3 pages. I’ve also seen eLearning Developers using Storyline / Rise to create interactive CV’s. If this is your business, then it’s a great way to showcase your ability.

3) Cover note – opportunities are likely to come in different shapes and sizes (do any two companies ever expect an Instructional Designer to do the same job!) In addition to your CV a tailored cover note is a great way to express how your services can be specifically relevant to a vacancy. If you’re applying for a role via an agency, then they can use your cover note as an introduction to a hiring manager which will always add weight to an application.

4) Video introductions – The world is now video mad, look at the content on your LinkedIn news feed compared to 5 years ago and how many people simply post video content (I know that I do!). Woodrow Mercer have been using a video platform for some time now to showcase candidates that we represent when talking to our clients. This is modern approach to marketing, and service that we are happy to offer to candidates when supporting job applications. Going in front of a camera can feel a bit weird to start with, but it’s just a great way to introduce yourself. I’ve recorded a short example to give you an idea of how it will look.

These are my top tips for landing that interview and contract. In addition, remember to make yourself stand out from the crowd, make yourself memorable and increase your visibility on LinkedIn. There are so many people out there competing for the same job, so how are you different?

About the author

My name is Sam Dyde and I am a Principal Consultant in the Learning Division at Woodrow Mercer, I have provided contract recruitment support to the digital learning industry for the last 8 years. During this time I’ve worked with clients across multiple industries, and have a great track record of connecting businesses with the most relevant candidates for their projects.

You can contact Sam via LinkedIn.

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