Applying to jobs can be occasionally be demotivating, especially when you feel you have no way of standing out from the crowd in a sea of applicants who you feel are probably just as qualified for the role as you are.
In this situation, it’s important to take a step back and acknowledge that you are a unique individual with your own talents and abilities. With a bit of effort and know-how, you can stand out from the crowd and make employers recognise your individual skills and experience.
In his article, we will explore how to create a CV that stands out, how to impress at the interview, and how to follow up to secure your dream role.
Create a CV that wows
If you have been out of the job market for a while you may be wondering how to create a CV that stand out. While there is a wealth of information on how to create a great CV on the internet, it can be difficult to work out exactly what to include and what to omit.
When creating an impressive CV relevance is key. Start with a concise personal statement that adequately sums up your career aim and go on to list relevant work experience in chronological order from your current or most recent role. A good rule of thumb is to not go back further than 10-15 years of career history as it is usually best to focus on your most recent experiences.
An impressive CV should be succinct meaning that you make your points concisely without waffling or adding in too many superfluous details. Remove any achievements from school that are dated and make sure that you are sparing when discussing your hobbies or extracurricular activities.
Finally, a unique CV that looks sleek and professional is bound to stand out to potential employers, especially in creative fields like design or marketing. Nowadays it's easy to use free online tools to create a truly beautiful CV. As always, exercise your judgement and don’t go over the top - photographs, excessive bright colours, and zany fonts may actually work against you when potential employers view your CV. You may even consider creating a video CV.
Craft a great cover letter
A great cover letter is an incredibly important tool in standing out to potential employers. This is your opportunity to pitch yourself to the company and really highlight why you stand out from the crowd.
Relevance is paramount when it comes to learning how to write a great cover letter. You may find it helpful to go through the person specification line by line to ensure that you can prove that you have sufficient skills and experience for the role. Ideally, you will have concrete examples of things you have done as proof of your expertise. For example, if the job advert specifies that you must have events organisation experience you could say:
“I am an experienced events professional who has organised ten successful large-scale events within the past two years”.
Succeed at the interview with our top interview tips
When it comes to interview advice, everyone has their own interview tips that they swear by. If you are considering how to prepare for an interview so that you stand out to potential employers, here are three things to keep in mind:
Research - A key way to differentiate yourself from other applicants is to ensure that you glean all the knowledge you can about the company before your interview. The more information about the company you can incorporate into your answers the better- as long as your answers are relevant to the questions you are being asked.
Confidence - Another way to stand out from competitors is to maintain a confident persona at all times. Make sure that your posture is good when you arrive, smile, and ensure that your handshake is strong. If you can maintain and professional yet friendly demeanour you will impress the interviewer and stand out as a confident and capable candidate.
Creativity - A final way to stand out from other applicants is to highlight your creative side. If the recruiter is looking for someone with creative flair you should discuss creative projects you have worked on in the past. Where appropriate, talk about a creative hobby you enjoy doing in the evenings and weekends. If you are wondering how to dress for an interview remember that while you should always look professional, it can help to wear an accessory or piece of jewellery which is slightly quirky in order to help the interviewer to remember you and to stand out from the other applicants.
Follow up after the interview
When attempting to stand out from other candidates, it makes sense to send a short followup email to the person who interviewed you. Use this as an opportunity to thank them for their time. However, it’s important to remember here that the interviewer does not want to feel harassed or pestered. A few lines is sufficient and you shouldn’t demand any kind of response or put pressure on them to hire you.
Thank you for reading our tips for standing out from other applicants, we hope these tips help you to stand out from the crowd when applying for a job!