You vs 300+ Applicants, or How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Is it even worth applying for popular jobs? The answer is “Yes, absolutely” – as long as you keep in mind a few important points that will help you stand out from the crowd.

We’ve all seen those photos with lines and lines of people waiting for an interview, and we’re used to LinkedIn telling us how this vacancy is “on fire!” because more than 300 people applied for it. At Kaspersky Lab we often have this kind of demand.
Is it even worth applying for popular jobs? The answer is “Yes, absolutely” – as long as you keep in mind a few important points that will help you stand out from the crowd.

1. Apply to jobs that fit your skills and requirements

I know it sounds obvious but any recruiter will tell you that more than 50% of CVs they receive don’t even remotely match the job requirements. I’ve read lots of recommendations for job seekers saying that you should apply to any job and maybe they will notice you for something else. Unfortunately this isn’t the case anymore. Some recruiters I know sometimes play “Insert applicant name here” bingo because there are people who would apply to everything advertised. Do not become one of these applicants!

Check to see if you match the job ad: have the basics, “must have or is required” skills and recent work experience. If you do not meet most of the requirements, give others a chance to be seen. But if you do match it, go for it!

2. Learn the Balance

I talk about balance often, the balance between being “aggressive” and being a stalker/joke in the office. That guy who applies for everything, contacts everyone in the office, who eventually becomes a joke – he’s known for all the wrong reasons and doesn’t know when to let go. But being aggressive is another story – you know exactly what you want, why you want it and know how to “sell” it to the company. This passion for work is highly valued by recruiters, and even if you don’t get the job offer this time, you’ll go right onto the recruiters’ “waiting list” to be contacted immediately when they have a suitable vacancy for you.

3. Get social

It’s not that difficult to stand out from the crowd, you just need to:

  • Be objective about yourself
  • Know exactly WHAT you want to be
  • Develop your professional network
  • Believe in yourself

Do you know someone inside Kaspersky Lab or any other company you are targeting? You do? Then start using it to your advantage. You don’t yet? Start networking NOW! Having an ally is one of the fastest and easiest ways for you to get noticed by a recruiter, so use it to your advantage. Do remember that balance though, and don’t overdo it! I still maintain contact with applicants and candidates I worked with over 10 years ago. They have helped me find candidates and I’ve helped them find jobs – either in the same company as me or at organizations where other friends of mine are working.

4. Be positive

This is important for people who are actively seeking a new job. The daily grind of the job search is really tough on anyone’s confidence, especially when there are these 300+ other people who want that job as much as you do (but who might not have all the required experience or friends among recruiters). As hard as it can be some days you really need to remind yourself of your worth as a professional. The best way to do that is to practice interviewing in front of a mirror or with a friend, answering all the standard questions you might be asked by a recruiter (I’m sure you know them all too well yourself). This exercise will help you in your next interview and remind you of all the great things you can offer your next company.