You might be well-established in the business and finance sector, but competition can be tough when you’re looking to take that next step in your career. Here’s what you need to know to stand out from the pack.

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make the biggest difference. It sounds obvious, but being well-presented and polished will immediately see you stand out from the interview pack. The team with a resume that clearly outlines your key achievements demonstrates that you’re results-focused and boasts a couple of strong referrals or references, and you’ll be well on your way to the next phase of your career.

Employers are also looking for candidates who have had a steady tenure in their current role, between 18 months to two years would be the minimum. And, of course, you need to show you have relevant experience in the role being advertised.

stay on trend

Things have changed in the past five years, and it’s your job to be aware of that and stay on trend. There’s an increased focus on the need for emotional intelligence skills and the ability to work in an agile and collaborative environment. Your skills should also be transferable – show that you can work on a range of cross-functional projects.

Of course, some things never change, and core qualities such as strong communication and presentation skills, a customer service focus, analytical and problem-solving skills as well as project management experience will always be viewed favourably.

the devil’s in the detail

Failing to decipher the job advertisement correctly could see you stumble at the first hurdle. Spend some time reviewing an organisation’s website to get your head around their values and common language used – you should always try to speak with the relevant consultant advertising the role, too, just to clarify any details you’re unsure about.

From there, clearly outline how your work history relates to the position’s required experience – this is something that’s commonly misinterpreted, so be sure to review it carefully before submitting your application.

Your resume should be tailored to the role so it can be easily interpreted and noted as relevant. Providing a capability statement that lists your strengths, skills, key achievements and exactly what you can bring to the role will also be helpful.

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about the author

Andrew McKissock

account director – banking & financial services, talent solutions

I am a motivated business professional committed to my craft, with 20 years of experience working in the Financial Services industry across specialist executive recruitment & HR consulting, client account management & operational management role.