How to stand out from the crowd: 3 tech recruiters share tips to get their attention

by John Siegel
January 11, 2018

After all the work that goes into updating a resume, crafting a cover letter and filling out an application, it’s tough to come to terms with the fact that dozens of other qualified professionals are doing the exact same thing for the exact same position. Finding a way to stand out in a crowd — especially when the company seems to be a perfect fit — can be both difficult and intimidating. To provide insights, Built In LA spoke with three local tech recruiters to find out how applicants can be more visible.

 

System1 adtech team office photo

Right about now, kids around the world are being pestered by their parents to write thank you notes for all of the wonderful presents they received during the holiday season. On top of homework and extracurricular activities, it might be a difficult task for many, but it turns out, it's a great practice to kick off as kids. According to Samantha Chen, a technical recruiter at Venice’s System1, sending a thank you card to a recruiter following an interview can say a lot about the character of an individual, especially when they’re applying for a job.

 

What’s one way for applicants to stand out in the hiring process?

One way for applicants to stand out in the hiring process is to send a nice thank you email to the recruiter. A number of candidates ask for the emails of their interviewers to write a personalized thank you, but what makes applicants stand out is a thank you note to the recruiter who helped facilitate their interview process. Make sure you treat recruiters like people — many candidates often show a slight distaste for recruiters, whether it's reflected in their written or verbal communication — and that is an automatic turn off.

 

What was one time where an applicant absolutely blew you away?

My favorite candidates were those who were the same both on and off screen. They were the candidates with timely responses and polite emails. They asked good questions and put in a lot of effort to make my job easier. When I met one in candidate particular, she was just as personable in person as over email. The best candidates are those that are accurate reflections of the person they portray on paper and online. This applicant impressed all her interviewers so much so that each one came up to me individually and expressed their enthusiasm, whereas usually, I need to prompt or ask interviewers for feedback. This candidate was made an offer the very next day!

 

What shouldn’t applicants do to get your attention and why?

Applicants who have an on-site interview should not arrive more than 10 to 15 minutes early, arriving too early often creates a burden on recruiters who are facilitating the interviews. If you overestimated traffic, go take a walk or grab a coffee. Arriving 10 minutes early offers just the right amount of time for a potential office tour, to make time for small talk, or to get settled.

 

nativo adtech startup los angeles

Nativo corporate recruiter Brian Dinh is well aware of the challenges applicants face when trying to stand out to people like him. While a company like Nativo might ask only for a resume, cover letter and related materials, Dinh encourages applicants to think outside the box.

 

What’s one way for applicants to stand out in the hiring process?

When applicants are applying for a job, standing out in the hiring process can be a challenge. How can you draw positive attention to yourself when there are hundreds of other applicants? For starters, make sure your resume isn’t riddled with typos and grammatical errors and a cover letter that contains the wrong company name is also a red flag. Never hesitate to go that extra mile and share additional materials that an employer might care about. Anything that helps them to get a better sense of who you are as a candidate will benefit you. Get creative!

 

What was one time where an applicant absolutely blew you away?

In one instance, an applicant blew me away by their ability to craft unique materials geared toward the company. It demonstrated his design and writing ability, and was a bold statement about his desire for the job — which he eventually landed.

 

What shouldn’t applicants do to get your attention and why?

We actually want you to be honest. Make sure your resume, cover letter and materials are a true representation of who you are as a candidate.

 

versus systems los angeles tech startup gaming fintech

When it comes down to it, you’re either qualified for a position, or you aren’t. But while one position might garner 200 applications, with 50-75 standing out, recruiters start to look for intangibles that would benefit the rest of the team. According to Versus Systems’ head of people, Amanda Armour, well-rounded applicants aren’t just better candidates — they make the people around them better.

 

What’s one way for applicants to stand out in the hiring process?

Demonstrate flexibility and an innate sense of curiosity. Show that you have interests that extend past the position for which you're applying; we're a well-rounded team, and teaching and learning together is part of how we team-build and bond.

 

What was one time where an applicant absolutely blew you away?

Two of our engineers began in entirely different fields from development — music and mathematics, respectively — and became interested in programming as an extension of their love of problem-solving, creating and pattern-finding. I love that they both were going in an entirely different direction, discovered programming, taught themselves, and then took it even further to develop professionally. Their passion and drive really caught my attention when they were interviewing.

 

What shouldn’t applicants do to get your attention and why?

It's hard to say. There's no one thing that's necessarily a turn-off when it comes to an applicant converting into a candidate. However, getting the feeling that someone doesn't know how to work well with others while also taking ownership and pride in their own contributions is never a good sign. People who are excited to create are a big draw here, but knowing how to do so collaboratively is a must.

 

Jobs from companies in this blog22 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
Marketing
Product
Project Mgmt
Sales
Product
new
System1
Venice
Developer
new
System1
Venice
Developer
new
Versus Systems
Los Angeles
Developer
new
Versus Systems
Los Angeles
Developer
new
Versus Systems
Los Angeles
Design + UX
new
Versus Systems
Los Angeles
Sales
new
System1
Venice
Project Mgmt
new
System1
Venice
Developer
new
System1
Venice
Developer
new
Versus Systems
Los Angeles
Marketing
new
System1
Venice
Developer
new
System1
Venice
Developer
new
System1
Venice
Developer
new
System1
Venice
Developer
new
System1
Venice
Data + Analytics
new
System1
Venice
Developer
new
System1
Venice
Product
new
System1
Venice
Product
new
System1
Venice
Marketing
new
System1
Venice
Finance
new
Versus Systems
Los Angeles

Los Angeles startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Los Angeles
LOCAL GUIDE
Inside the Best Software Engineer Jobs in Los Angeles
LOCAL GUIDE
Tour the Coolest Tech Offices in Los Angeles
LOCAL GUIDE
Inside the Best Sales Jobs in Los Angeles
LOCAL GUIDE
Your Guide to the Best Perks at LA Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Inside the Best Marketing Jobs in Los Angeles
LOCAL GUIDE
Your Guide to Virtual Reality Tech in Los Angeles
LOCAL GUIDE
Your Guide to Media Tech in Los Angeles