How to stand out from other jobseekers | Main Region | TS

How to stand out from other jobseekers

Candidate standing out from the crowd

If you are looking for a new job, you need to stand out from other job seekers. After all, you won’t be the only good candidate who applies for each vacancy. Even if you do have the skills, experience and behaviours that fit the bill, it’s possible that other candidates do, too. 

Luckily, there are several proven methods that will help you get noticed and stand out to hiring managers in today’s jobs market.

Our top five tips to stand out to the hiring manager:

1. Write a great resume

Make a good first impression with a professional resume that clearly demonstrates your suitability for the job and includes all the information employers want to see from candidates today. This means you start with your contact details, followed by a professional summary. List your skills and achievements, before detailing your work experience in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent. If you have your own website profiling your work, include the URL, but do not submit it instead of a resume. Then include your education and qualifications, along with references. Don’t forget to proof-read your resume and take the time to get it right. 

2. Sell yourself

“Why should I hire you?” is a common job interview question asked to job seekers. To answer this question, highlight one or two unique selling points to differentiate yourself from the crowd – you should do this in your resume and cover letter, too, not only your interview. You may have heard this referred to as your “elevator pitch”. In other words, a short summary about who you are, your background and your relevant experience. Preparing and practising this type of response ahead of time will ensure you’re able to explain clearly to hiring managers why you are the best person for the job. 

To create your perfect pitch, consider what it was about the job or organisation that caught your attention. Begin by highlighting your interest and passion for the role and organisation, along with how it fits with your career goals. 

Then, identify your top three skills that are relevant to the job. Try to include both hard and soft skills. These three key points should pique the interest of the hiring manager. Here is an example of a “why should we hire you” answer: 

“I’ve been impressed with the pioneering and innovative approach that your organisation has taken over the years. So, when I came across the job advertisement for this role, it really sparked my interest – not only is it aligned to my career goals, but the prospect of working with a market-leading organisation really excites me. I think there are three key reasons why you should hire me.

Firstly, I believe I can provide the team management and coaching skills that you’ve asked for in the job description. I have a proven track record of managing, empowering and developing high-performing teams, and it’s something I enjoy doing.

Secondly, I can bring a strong commercial acumen, which delivers proven results, to your organisation. An example of that is the fact that my team helped to drive a 25% boost in sales over just two years, through the strategic repositioning of one of our key products.

And thirdly, I consider myself to be skilled in innovative and creative thinking, helping to protect your organisation from the change and disruption which is inevitably around the corner.”

3. Experience: 

When an employer recruits, they usually want a proven performer who can hit the ground running and add immediate value in the job. Therefore, the most valuable skill job seekers can have is relevant experience. 

For seasoned professionals, this means you need to match your existing skills and experience with the job requirements. Use your skills and experience to show potential employers you are a tried and tested candidate.

If you are a graduate, professional work experience completed during your study is a huge benefit that will help you stand out in your job search. Even a few weeks completed during semester break gives you an advantage over fellow graduates who have not taken the initiative to gain relevant experience.

4. Develop new skills: 

Employers value candidates with a constant learning mindset who can adapt rapidly to change. So, show a potential employer that you upskill regularly and stay on top of industry trends. This allows you to demonstrate that as their industry and business moves forward, you are moving forward with it. Read more on how to show you’re a constant learner

5. Research the organisation: 

“What do you know about our organisation?” is another standard job interview question, yet one that many candidates trip up on. Most candidates conduct basic research about an organisation by reading the About Us page of their website. To stand out, you therefore need to be able to tell the interviewer more than just what’s on this page. For instance, follow the organisation on social media and read the annual report to learn about new product releases, business wins and interesting news.   

Our top five interview mistakes to avoid:

1. Arriving late for your interview: 

Interviewers have heard every excuse when it comes to candidates arriving late for an in-person interview or dialling in late for a video interview. There should be no excuse. Anticipate traffic, public transport or technology delays and either leave the house or check your connection earlier than you normally would. Often, you will only get one chance to get your foot in the door.

2. Failure to prepare: 

Another common jobseeker mistake is to fail to research the organisation prior to your interview. An organisation’s website, social media and annual report are good places to start. Also check with professional bodies, your networks and your recruiter to gain a better understanding of the organisation and how your experience and skills match. Use this to prepare for likely interview questions and prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview.

3. Dressing inappropriately: 

You should look professional, act professionally and dress professionally for your job interview, regardless of whether it is taking place in person or over a video call. As mentioned above, you only get one chance to make a good first impression, so don’t ruin your chances of securing the job with inappropriate attire.  

4. Inability to listen: 

Listen carefully, give the interviewer your full attention and answer the questions asked. If you are asked behavioural or competency interview questions, such as “Describe an occasion when…”, you need to answer with a relevant real-life example. Do not evade the question as it is more obvious than you think.

5. Inappropriate use of social media: 

A growing number of employers are now extending their vetting process to include social media, particularly when they feel a candidate might not be what they are portraying themselves to be in an interview. In addition, if an employer sees an inappropriate photo of you on social media, it is likely one of the reasons you didn’t get the job.

So, change your privacy settings and be sensible in the content you post online. Failure to be aware of your digital footprint is a huge mistake in today’s job market.

Stand out to get the job 

As we have seen, there are a number of ways you can stand out from other candidates when your experience and skills are similar. Employ these effective ways to stand out during your job search to increase your chances of success. 

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