Why It’s Important to Have a Personal Touch in a Digital World
Author: Lincoln Gray
Published date: 2018/08
Advances in technology have significantly altered the way in which we communicate with each other every single day. The world has become smaller and we have an infinite amount of information, choice and ways to interact. Technology has also streamlined the way we search for and apply for new roles. A lot of people subscribe to the philosophy that “it’s a numbers game” when it comes to applying to roles. They simply click the “apply online” button time and time again in the hope that someone will answer their application. As someone who sifts through hundreds of applications per week, I cannot understate the importance of not taking this approach, and instead making yourself stand out from the crowd.
Numerous studies have shown that personal contact is exponentially more effective than digital contact when requesting action from a stranger. For example, people are far more likely to donate to a cause if requested by someone shaking a tin on a street corner than via an email request for the same cause. In effect people are engaged when they view you as an individual, not just another applicant. So how do you stand out from the crowd when the standard practice is to apply online?
How to use your personality stand out from the crowd
Of course the best way to showcase your personality and individual brilliance is at an interview, however very few applicants to any role get that opportunity. The first challenge is to highlight your skills, relevance and suitability for the role. You need to make sure you are ticking all the boxes for your prospective employer by ensuring you have the relevant experience and training required to carry out all of the duties expected.
The second challenge is trying to convey why you would fit in to the culture of the company and why they would want to be in your esteemed company on a daily basis. Include a unique cover letter tailored to the specific role and company in which you are applying for. Be sure to avoid generic terms and phrases and don’t be afraid to let your personality come through in your expression.
Thirdly, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Give yourself every opportunity by introducing yourself to the person who will be reviewing your application over the phone. Your application will invariably be moved to the top of the pile and be reviewed promptly.
My 5 Top Tips!
Make sure you address the key selection criteria and adapt your cover letter for EVERY company you apply for. While this may take some time to do, it will go a long way to demonstrating to the hiring manager that you care about the position you’re applying for.
Let your personality come through your expression in your cover letter. Avoid generic expressions and language. Write parts of it the way you would actually speak (so swearing though, please!), as this will convey warmth and candour.
Don’t be afraid to showcase your personality in your CV. Go ahead and highlight personal achievements you are proud of along with your professional ones.
Always follow up your submission with a phone call, but be conscious of hounding or annoying the contact! This can be a balancing act, but if you leave sufficient time for them to review your application (say, around 2 days) before calling, you should be safe. If you cannot get a hold of them, leave a message. If they don’t get back to you within another 24-48 hours (and they are not away sick or on annual leave), call again once more. Then leave it at that.
Be creative. You are unique, you just need to convey your individuality to the reader. One way to do this is to customise your personal summary, and make it more light-hearted and interesting. Another way to go would be to format your CV in a creative and unusual way. Although, you will need to ensure it is still readable and full of great information!
When applying for jobs, it’s important to create a connection with the person responsible for hiring you. By going that extra mile and adding your unique personal touch, you will make yourself memorable, and give yourself that all important edge when it comes to scoring that dream job!