In today's tough job market, where the number of job seekers exceeds the number of roles on offer, it's never been more critical than now to make sure you stand out from the crowd during the interview process.

here are our 7 top tips on how to ensure you succeed in your next job search:

staffing - three people one in the front in various color combinations. Please use the background color as indicated in the file name.
staffing - three people one in the front in various color combinations. Please use the background color as indicated in the file name.

1. give your resume the 'x' 'actor

First impressions last, and since your resume is most likely the first interaction a potential employer will have with you - it's essential to put your best foot forward. At a minimum, ensure your resume is up to date, clearly and concisely outlines your skills and significant career achievements, and is without spelling errors.

If you want to go one step further, consider thinking outside the box - depending on your industry, why not include QR codes or even turn your resume into an infographic.

2. team up with a specialist recruitment consultant

It might be tempting to limit your search to online job boards or send your resume to multiple companies, but engaging with a specialist recruitment agency that works solely within your chosen industry can pay dividends.

Specialist recruitment consultants have contacts within major organisations and often know about job opportunities before they're out on the open market.

More than 70% of job vacancies are never advertised, so it makes sense to team up with a recruitment agency that can do all the groundwork for you. Want more information? Please read our article '5 reasons you should partner with a specialist recruitment agency.

3. be socially savvy

Research from the latest Randstad world of work report shows that 23% of Australian employers admit to using social media networks to screen job applicants.

In addition, more and more businesses are turning to professional networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter to advertise for and seek potential candidates. Hence, keeping a keen eye on what your online profile says about you makes sense.

need more tips?

Read our article: how to leverage social media to land your dream job.

4. dress for the role

Have you ever heard the one about the candidate who went to the interview with a big tomato sauce stain on his front and came out with the job... nope? Neither have we.

90% of communication is non-verbal. It means that your appearance and demeanour had already created an impression before you shook hands with your potential employer during your interview.

If in doubt, err on the side of caution – it's better to be overdressed than underdressed, and no matter what outfit you choose, make sure it's clean, neat & ironed.

5. do your research

Before the interview, review the job description with a magnifying glass and compare the required skills/responsibilities to your everyday experience to show that your experience matches the interview's role.

Come up with a list of questions you think the interviewer may ask, and prepare your answers so that you're not stuck for words if they come up during your meeting. 

6. be prepared with follow-up questions

Do you know the part at the end of an interview where the hiring manager asks if you have any questions?

For many people, this is where the interview comes to an abrupt end – but if you want to stand out from the crowd, use this time as an opportunity to make a lasting impression.

Before the interview, search online for news items on your potential new business and the industry it works for, then make sure you ask questions based on this info. This will impress that you know the role requirements and have a thorough understanding of the business itself.

Another excellent question to ask your potential employer at the interview close is to critique you on how they thought you performed during your meeting and ask directly if you are in with a chance at the job?

Not only will they be impressed by your audacity, but this will also allow you to overcome any objections they may have about your experience and cultural fit.

7. send a follow-up email

Once the interview is done and dusted, a great way to differentiate yourself (and ensure you stay top of mind in the consideration process) is to send your interviewer a follow-up email to thank them for their time. In this email, you should also reiterate your interest (and expertise!) – and remember to keep the email brief, concise and upbeat.

Regardless of your years of experience and skill set, a potential candidate must be knowledgeable, prepared and above all, confident. 

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