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How to be a Standout Candidate at a Staffing Agency

When you choose to partner with a staffing agency to find work, there is a certain level of healthy competition that arises between potential candidates as the agency works to place each individual in the best job possible. The competition is unavoidable, but being a standout candidate is great for hitting the ground running with both the agency and potential employers.

Standout Resume

The first thing a staffing agency needs from potential candidates is a resume. There are hundreds of resume templates to choose from, but mimicking a resume format doesn’t mean the final product will standout. A resume should have clear header, be professionally formatted, and pleasing to look at.

Resumes should also always be tailored to a specific job. HR representatives who see resumes everyday recognize when an individual has submitted a “cookie-cutter” resume. Careful language use is just as important as keeping the resume polished. Errors can be mistaken for laziness and lead the candidate to be dismissed without consideration. Buzzwords and industry keywords demonstrate a candidate is knowledgeable or accomplished in the industry, but these should be used sparingly to avoid looking “stuffed.”

Interviewing Confidently

A staffing agency will recommend candidates for a job when the agency is confident the individual has what it takes to perform the position. Candidates may have all the skills necessary for the job, but lose out on an opportunity if he or she is unprepared for the job interview.

To interview well, a staffing agency wants candidates to show an interest in the company; ask what the common attributes of the top performers are; what is expected of the employee in the first 90 days of employment, how performance will be evaluated, and what can be done to drive results. By being prepared and practiced, job candidates can effectively market themselves and learn more about the job in the process.

Gaining Skill Diversity

Ambition, initiative, commitment, and personality are all traits staffing agencies and employers look for in candidates. Competition for even entrance-level jobs can be fierce, and in order to get a leg-up in the competition, a staffing agency may suggest candidates take continuing education courses, renew a license, complete additional training, or work a few temporary jobs to build-up skill sets. Individuals who listen and follow the advice of the staffing agency or commit to skill building opportunities on their own will standout to the agency and employers.

Other Ways to Impress

A staffing agency is a means to obtaining the job you want, but that can only be done if you make a good impression on those who can help. Following instructions and recommendations immediately separates the candidates who do listen from the ones who do not. The candidates who do listen will continue to standout if they are friendly, approachable, and respectful. It is easy for job seekers to forget that recruiters from a staffing agency represent an employer and, therefore, should be treated as if he or she is the first stage of the hiring process.

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