7 ways to stand out from the job hunting crowd

21/03/2014 11:40:11

In today's tough job market, where the number of jobseekers exceed the number of roles on offer, it's never been more important 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:

1. Give your resume the ‘x’ factor: First impressions last and since your resume is most likely the first interaction a potential employer will have with you - it’s important to put your best foot forward. At a minimum, make sure your resume is up to date, clearly and concisely outlines your skills and major 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 turning 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 sending your resume out to multiple companies; but engaging with a specialist recruitment agency that works solely within your chosen industry can pay dividend. Specialist recruitment consultants have contacts within major organisations and often know about job opportunities before they're even out on the open market - in fact, more than 70% of most job vacancies are never advertised, so it makes sense to team up with a recruitment agency who can do all the groundwork for you. Want more information? Read our article '5 reasons you should partner with a specialist recruitment agency'.

3. Be socially savvy: Research taken from the latest Randstad world of work report shows that 23% of Australian employers admit to using social media networks to screen job applicants, and in addition to this, more and more businesses are turning to professional networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter to advertise for and seek potential candidates, so it makes sense to keep a keen eye on what your online profile says about you. 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 – which means that during your interview, your appearance and demeanour has already created an impression before you’ve even shaken the hand of your potential employer. If in doubt, err on the side of caution – it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, and no matter what outfit you choose to wear, make sure it’s clean, neat & ironed.

5. Do your research: Before the interview, go over the job description with a magnifying glass and make comparison with the required skills/responsibilities to your current experience so you can show your experience matches the role in the interview. 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: 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 really want to stand out from the crowd, use this time as an opportunity to make a lasting impression. Prior to the interview, search online for news items pertaining to 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 not only know the role requirements, but also 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 asking directly if you are in with a chance at the job? Not only will they impressed by your chutzpah, this will give you an opportunity to overcome any objections they may have about your experience and/or 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. 

How do you ensure you stand out from other job seekers when applying for a job?