You’ve just graduated from university and are entering the next chapter of your life. You’re probably excited to get out into the real world and land your first professional job. 

Before taking the plunge, you must put together a CV/resume that includes skills that make you stand out from your competition. To do this, you need to understand what skills employers look for when hiring candidates. 


How to Stand Out in Job Applications

You must include more in your CV/resume than simply listing past experiences. Here is a way to make your resume stand apart from the rest.

When thinking about which experiences to highlight on your CV/resume, make sure they are relevant to the specific position or industry you are applying to. Be sure to research the company by visiting their website and current job postings. 

The experiences and keywords you choose to include should be relevant to the role you're applying to, so the hiring manager can easily see why you would be a good fit for the position. 


Competitive Skills for Job Applications

With so much competition out there, you may feel a little intimidated. Remember, you have been building your unique skills through college classes and outside experiences, and now is your chance to wow the hiring managers. 

Here are five unique skills to put on a resume. 


  • Interpersonal Skills 


Employers look for candidates who show they can interact well with others. This skill is critical when working in a team environment or directly with a client. 

Consider adding these soft skills to your CV/resume to showcase personal traits that can make you stand out:

  • Communication: Having strong communication skills demonstrates that you can present your ideas clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing. 
  • Teamwork: You want to show that you’re a team player and work well with others to achieve a common goal. 

  • Leadership: To be a good leader, you must know how to delegate responsibilities to ensure work gets done on time. 


  • Problem-solving: You want to show you can solve problems effectively by taking an analytical and logical approach. 


  • Internal Motivation 

Employers want to see that workers can take on new tasks and challenges. They want to know they are motivated to work hard internally and don’t need to be persuaded by outside factors, such as raises. 

When thinking back to your experiences, find times when you took on more responsibility because you wanted to achieve a goal for yourself. For example, maybe you did additional work outside of an internship that you didn’t get compensated for but helped the team complete a task. 


  • The Ability to Work Well Under Pressure 

You want to demonstrate to hiring managers that you can work well in high-pressure situations. Employers want to know you can handle things like tight deadlines without crumbling under pressure. 

Go back through your experiences in college and think about times when you showcased your ability to work in stressful environments. For example, maybe you were a club president and had to coordinate and schedule multiple events throughout the semester. 


  • A Second Language

Many companies want to reach a more global audience. This way, they can increase customer retention and create brand loyalty by effectively communicating with their international clients. 

If you fluently speak a second language, be sure to place this skill on your CV/resume to show how you can benefit the company over others. 


  • Unique Credentials 

Adding unique credentials for job applications helps you attract employers and shows you have gained relevant skills within an industry. Here is an example of different types of certifications you can obtain: 

  • Degrees: Showing you have a college degree, such as a bachelor of science, can set you apart from those who didn’t attend college at all.  

  • Certificates: Certain training programs within an industry often offer certificates for their end-of-training exams, such as the Certificate Program in Surgical Technology.

  • Certifications: These differ from certificates in their testing procedures and expiration dates. These require a competency test and recertification within a certain time, such as the AWS Certified Welder certification.

  • Badges: These are newer and usually issued by a learning institution, industry or private company. 

To decide which credentials are the best to use, consider the industry you want to go into. See if any professional organizations offer specific certifications. Then, go back to the job description to see if there are any required qualifications already listed. 


Making Your CV/Resume Shine

You’re pumped and ready to land your first professional job after university, but remember the importance of having a CV/resume that will stand out among your competition. These competitive skills for job applications can make you shine and rise to the top of the pile.

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