When you have a stake as a job candidate in the healthcare employment marketplace, being able to differentiate yourself from the competition is key.

Your future employer is going to spend a great deal of money and resources vetting, hiring, training, and onboarding you, so you need to clearly communicate that you’re worthy of this expensive and time-consuming process that constitutes a financial risk for any organization that chooses to hire you.

One way to demonstrate to hiring managers and human resources professionals that you stand head-and-shoulders above the rest is to make sure you’re a three-dimensional candidate, not a two-dimensional caricature of a job-hunter who offers only a generic picture of who they are and what they bring to the table.

The Two-Dimensional Candidate

There is a plethora of two-dimensional job-hunters out there, and they have many common traits and habits that make them more akin to cardboard cutouts than potential employees in whom an organization would be willing to invest.

These particular types of job-seekers sport unappealing and unattractive resumes that don’t tell a compelling story. Their cover letters are similarly dull and do nothing to make the case for being gainfully employed.

They probably don’t have a LinkedIn profile, and if they do there’s no real meat on the digital bones and the profile leaves the viewer no closer to truly understanding who this candidate is. The terminology used in these documents and platforms is generic, with words like “go-getter,” “compassionate,” “team player,” and “enthusiastic” saying precious little.

These individuals may be amazing, but if the paper and digital trail summing up their careers isn’t telling a cohesive story, then the job-seeker may find themselves wondering what went wrong and why calls for interviews are few and far between. The fact is that, in most cases, the more time, energy, and authenticity dedicated to every aspect of the job search, the better the results will be.

The two-dimensional candidate sells themselves short and potentially deprives a solid employer of their skills, knowledge, and expertise. Putting together a strong resume, persuasive cover letter, and thorough LinkedIn profile isn’t rocket science, but it may as well be vis-à-vis the number of people in the job market who circulate unimpressive materials in poor service to the search for their next position.

The Three-Dimensional Candidate

The three-dimensional candidate is just the opposite of their two-dimensional counterpart. For this person, authenticity is the name of the game. Their resume and other materials shine with quantifiable and/or qualifiable accomplishments, and a hiring manager reviewing their application will know exactly what they’re capable of delivering; and in the end, an interview will likely seal the deal.

This particular healthcare professional knows how important words truly are; to wit:

Masters-prepared intrapreneurial nurse manager with history of turning troubled CCU and step-down units into high-performing teams. In the course of seven years’ tenure as nurse manager at Marymount Hospital CCU in Hoboken, NJ, unit-based nurse attrition decreased from high of 55% to historic low of 15%, and nosocomial infections decreased by 42%.”

As Chair of Policy Committee from 2012 to 2014, CCU procedure manual thoroughly revised through focused multidisciplinary collaboration, serving as a model for other units throughout the St. Thomas health system.”

Bachelors-prepared RN with significant experience in chemotherapy, blood transfusions, intravenous therapy, and oncology nursing. CRNI-certified.”

Specific language evokes clear understanding of a candidate’s gifts. In this context, specificity is the applicant’s best friend; detailed quantifiers and qualifiers tell a real story rather than conveying generic platitudes that could pertain to any number of applicants. The three-dimensional candidate traffics in real information that communicates true value.

A Win-Win All Around

For a job search to yield a true win for everyone, job candidates must deliver authentic, robust information that those with hiring power can truly sink their teeth into. In order for a healthcare job-seeker to tell an effective story, the veracity of words truly matters, as does the ability to communicate high-level accomplishments, skills, and knowledge.

When those in the running for valuable healthcare positions are able to skillfully use their search process to become stronger candidates, all parties benefit. Solid candidates more readily lead to an easier orientation and onboarding process, cohesive teams, satisfied staff members, and decreased employee attrition.

A saturated job market gives employers more choices in terms of staff and creates an opportunity for job candidates to up their game and knock their application process out of the park. And in the end, a stronger and more effective healthcare system can be a wonderful end result.