With too many people looking for too few jobs, employers are being very selective and demanding more than ever from job candidates. Marketing yourself with a résumé that simply explains the things you’ve done in previous positions is not enough. Employers want to understand your ability to add value through results and your potential contribution to the bottom line. Recruiters are looking for people with strong records of accomplishment who stand out from others, because that’s whom they can easily sell to hiring managers.

At www.AttractJobsNOW.com, as we recruit for corporate clients, we look for candidates who provide the five following qualifications, which we’ve found hiring managers deem essential:

1. Expertise. In a field where many people have very similar job titles, what makes you stand out? If you have trouble defining your expertise, start by listing your responsibilities at your latest and previous positions and then prioritize them in order of their value to the business. Mark the tasks where you provided substantial results. Then you’ll see your expertise.

2. Success stories. Have you increased revenue or profit? Have you decreased costs or minimized risk? Tell concise success stories of how you met these goals and you’ll make yourself an exceptional candidate. To identify those success stories you must understand how your position and your accomplishments clearly helped the bottom line of the business. That allows you to explain the value you’ve provided in the past and can offer in the future.

3. Recommendations. A recommendation from a manager or colleague is far more valuable than any self-endorsement. LinkedIn lets you show recommendations right on your profile, which creates instant credibility. Be sure to ask recommenders for write-ups that explain your concrete contributions and value to specific projects or areas of business. Ideally you should ask for a recommendation right after you’ve provided those results, as that’s when your value is most appreciated. I offer examples of effective professional recommendations on my own LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/jeromeyoung.

4. Work samples. Examples of what you’ve done are far more effective that just talking about what you’ve done. Websites, pictures of products and actual products themselves grab an employer’s attention and generate interest. I have offered employers a slide show with pictures of me working, just so they can visualize me effectively laboring in their behalf.

5. A consistent message. Your résumé, cover letter, website, LinkedIn profile and interview remarks should all promote a consistent message. If you change the message in one of those places, update the others. At www.AttractJobsNOW.comwe recommend that whenever a client receives our résumé and cover letter service, they update their LinkedIn profile as well. An inconsistent message clouds the credibility of your accomplishments.

As you conduct your job search, remember that recruiters are evaluated by their ability to find a few of the most highly qualified candidates for any position. The more confident a recruiter feels about your accomplishments and ability to meet the needs of hiring managers, the more interested he or she will be in you as a candidate. Help yourself along by making sure you’ve covered the five points above.

By Jerome Young – founder and president of www.AttractJobsNOW.com, a diversity recruiting and job search consulting firm.