How to stand out as a job applicant
Today we share some tips on how to stand out from other job applicants – for the right reasons – and increase your chances of getting the job.
1. Get past the first round
Your first priority is to ensure your applications is not an immediate disqualification – usually by way of a badly written cv and cover letter. This is how to prevent this:
• Check for spelling and grammatical errors in your cv
• Read the job ad thoroughly and follow the instructions on how to apply
• Ensure the application is addressed to the correct person (e.g. HR Manager, Recruitment Manager etc)
• Submit your application before the due date – avoid submitting it on the due date as other applicants may have already sent applications and caught the eye of the recruiter sooner.
2. Do your research
Conduct research on the company, not just the job. Get as much information as you can about the company and use this knowledge to prepare your application. This research might alert you on useful strategies and trends used by the company and the kind of people they hire.
3. Personalise Your cv and cover letter
For each application you submit, prepare a specific cover letter addressed to the responsible person. Make sure your cover letter and resume highlights your strongest and most relevant skills and abilities.
This is what will catch the employer’s attention:
• Address each item in the selection criteria with specific examples from present or past jobs and experience
• Be brief, but be relevant
• You can talk about your key achievements and responsibilities in previous jobs, but make sure you only talk about relevant achievements and responsibilities
Ask a teacher, parent, mentor or colleague to look over your application and make suggestions for improvement before you submit it.
Many organisations and employment agencies use software to scan job applications for keywords, so make sure your cover letter and resume include the words that the employer used in the job ad and position description.
4. Avoid Gimmicks
Don’t stand out for the wrong reasons. Pink scented cover letters and funky fonts do not impress employers!
5. Excel in the Interview
Prepare for the interview thoroughly to make sure you really impress them in person. Get a list of questions ready so you’ve got something to ask them as well as answering their questions.
After the interview, if the employer hasn’t contacted you by the expected date, don’t be shy about following up with a polite phone call.
6. Obtain Feedback
Even if you don’t get the job, it’s a good idea to follow up with the employer and ask why your application was unsuccessful. Any feedback you receive can help you improve future applications.