Everyone knows that the job market is tricky. Many jobs have a huge surplus of qualified applicants for a position. So being a little different from the crowd in some way is more important than ever. Being memorable is key to a successful job hunt. Here are 7 ways to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
Having a one-size-fits-all, generic CV is one of the biggest mistakes people make when applying for jobs. Not only is it totally obvious to recruiters, but it gives the impression that you aren’t really trying. A full rewrite isn’t in order, but adding a personalised sentence that’s deliberately relevant to the position you’re applying for (particularly at the beginning or end of your CV) will help it to stand out amongst the stacks of non-custom applications.
While applying exclusively through job boards online is the easiest and quickest way to reach out about positions, it isn’t always the best. If a job seems easier to apply for, the likelihood is, it’ll have a lot more applicants, and standing out amongst such a huge crowd can be tricky. Instead, think about less well-trodden paths t jobs. Follow HR managers on Twitter or LinkedIn, or get in touch with companies you like with a speculative job application. If you’re not going with the crowd, it’ll be much easier to stand out from it.
A cover letter is the best way to communicate directly with your potential employer, so getting it right really counts. Make sure it’s in the right tone for the type of company you’re applying for and follows closely with the person specification on the application. Make sure you use plenty of evidence of experiences rather than just assigning random adjectives to yourself. And, of course, make sure it’s spellchecked, grammatically correct, and addressing the right person.
If you only have a small amount of space or time to impress someone, the best bet is to focus on around three salient points you’d like to get across. If you try to jam in too much information, employers will find it harder to take in and may decide not to bother learning more. You need to pick what you want to say carefully – look over the job description and see what you think the three main aspects of a good candidate would be. Then find examples of you fitting that description from your working life. Present it in an organised and clear way, and you’ll ensure you get the most important information across.
It’s naïve to assume that recruiters won’t have a little poke around on the internet if they want more information about a candidate. Having a professional website or a strong social media presence will stand you in good stead. Conversely, having a lot of unprofessional photos or posts for easy public consumption could well work to your detriment. Having an internet presence which matches your job applications is a great way to beat out the competition.
Knowing about a company, their culture and their values will show recruiters you aren’t just looking for a job, but that you’re perfectly suited for this job. It takes only a few minutes to learn what a company is all about, and it can make all the difference when it comes to success.
If you’re having a hard time on a job hunt, it can be tempting to want to do anything at all to stand out from the crowd. But try to keep your head, and know that this isn’t the case. An application featuring slang, photographs or odd expressions will not make you any more likely to get a job. Standing out in a recruiters memory as weird or unprofessional not only denigrates your chances of getting the job you’re applying for, but it can put a bad taste in their mouth for the future.
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