In a saturated job market, it’s essential to find ways to stand out from the crowd.

Here, taking lessons from our top 5% of candidates, we outline four simple steps you can take to get ahead of the competition on Placed. From nailing that all-important profile pic to adding key achievements and skills.

A picture paints a thousand words

Although it’s not essential, uploading a profile picture to your Placed profile really is a great way to introduce yourself and make yourself more memorable to potential employers. There are lots of articles out there with advice on selecting the best profile picture, but top candidates on Placed tend to opt for profile pics that are professional (no group shots or raunchy selfies!), good quality (no strange lighting or Snapchat filters) and recently taken – as in, not ten years old.

Top tip: If you’re willing to spend to get the perfect headshot, check out Hey Tuesday – they will capture you in a way that brings out your natural warmth and personality and provide you with a selection of shots.

Make your experience count

Placed makes it very easy to add and list previous experience. However, candidates in the top 5% don’t just list their employment history, they bring it to life by describing the responsibilities of the role and flagging key milestones and achievements. Follow their lead and you will make your profile more memorable to employers, demonstrate that you can be trusted to perform, and signal the value that you would bring to their company.

Top tip: Good candidates describe what they did in each role. Great candidates focus on how their actions helped the business. For example, instead of saying ‘I led the reservations team for two years’ – you might say, ‘I led the reservations team for two years, reducing no-shows by 35% to generate more revenue for the company’.

Showcase your expertise

A section that is sometimes overlooked by candidates is the ability to summarise and detail expertise. This section provides a great opportunity to build upon your past experience and summarise some of your key skills.

Remember, there are soft and hard skills. Soft skills include things like teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution, customer service. Hard skills are usually picked up through training or experience – such as coding, video production and cocktail-making. Those with the best profiles on Placed include both types and give examples of when they’ve successfully put these skills into action.

Top tip: Employers want to see proof of your talents. One great way to do this is by detailing any courses that you’ve taken or – if you’re a real pro – any awards or accolades you’ve earned. E-learning platforms such as Coursera and Alison offer short courses in soft and hard skill subjects.

Add fun facts

One of the most frequent bits of feedback we get from our employers is how much they love to see a fun fact on profiles. Why?

Well, it’s simple really – employers invest in people. They look for personality and ‘culture fit’ as much as they look for specific skills and experience. By including a quirky fun fact, you’re making yourself memorable and showing them that you are more than just words on a page. Plus, if you make it to interview stage the hiring manager will have a ready-made icebreaker.

Top tip: Make the fact memorable and relatable to someone in your industry. However, be careful about including something too personal or something that will reflect badly on your. If you’re going for Front of House jobs maybe don’t mention that time that you put spilt coffee all over an A-Lister!

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