If you’re looking for a job in Australia, you’ll be aware that competition for certain positions can be fierce. With the average number of applications per job vacancy in Australia rising annually, learning how to stand out from others is key. But how?
In this post, we’ll share with you a few tips to help you know the best way to differentiate yourself from others, and hopefully, get you one step closer to landing your dream job.
Do you tailor your resume for every application you make? When did you last update your resume? Are you still using the same resume as you were five years ago?
There’s no single template that makes a resume ‘perfect’, but there are lots of things you can to help your resume stand out from others when you apply for a job. Aside from having the right information, in the right order, and ensuring the data you include is relevant for the job you are applying for, presentation matters too.
So important is this first point that we’ve written a whole blog on how to write a killer resume. It’s well worth a look and a great starting place to help you prepare to submit job applications that stand out!
#2 Cover Letter
Whether or not a cover letter is requested, it is always good practice to write one. It is incremental in helping you stand out from other applications. It shows you understand what the job involves, and that you have taken the time to match your skills and experience to the job description. It’s your opportunity to make an impact and given that it should only take 15-30 minutes to write; it’s a great investment of your time.
Consider this, if a recruiter has 100 applications for a job, and only 20 of these people took the time to write a tailored letter, which of those applicants do you think would be best received? Who will stand out the most?
Being authentic starts with your application, and it needs to carry through to the interview process, and beyond! There’s no point in saying you can do or have done things that aren’t true. If you’re one of the applicants who progresses to the interview stages, be ready to have real-world examples that demonstrate your ability to perform the skills and duties required.
Most interviewers will ask you to ‘talk about a time when’ or ‘give an example of a time when’ you have overcome specific challenges or used your skills to do a specific task or hit a certain goal.
If you say that you can hit targets, work under pressure, deal with challenging customers, etc. then you need to have real-world examples ready to talk about.
#4 Prepare Questions
Most people would be forgiven for thinking an interview is a one-way question and answer process. You’re asked questions, and you need to provide answers. However, a great way to help yourself stand out is by asking questions of your own.
We’ll talk about the importance of research in the next step, but for now, you should consider preparing questions of your own. These questions show that you take an active interest in the role and the company. Whether you want to ask for more information about their products or services or you’re keen to learn about the culture or competitors of the company, it shows great initiative when you have questions of your own to ask.
Research is crucial. Similar to preparing questions, you need to take time to look at the company, their services, their mission, values, and even their place in their own market. The interviewer is almost always going to ask you what you know about the business and/or their products. If you want to stand out, then being fully prepared is key.
By taking the time to look at the company in detail, it shows you are committed to the role, and you care about the company. Speaking from the position of a recruiter, if you have a highly motivated, well-informed candidate who has taken the time to learn about your business and its products Vs. someone who knows nothing; who would stand out the most?
While this isn’t something that can be learned overnight, it is important to show passion throughout the process. Passion can also be displayed as energy, interest, and generally taking the time to show an interest in the role and the company. As nervous as you might feel on the day, it’s important to show that you are genuinely interested and that you can bring your energy and passion to the role and the company.
#7 STAR Method
You may have heard of this before, but even if it’s completely new, it’s something well-worth learning about if you are searching for local jobs and hope to attend an interview soon. STAR standard for Situation – Task – Action – Result. It’s a great way to respond to a question that requires you to ‘give an example of a time’ when you demonstrated a specific skill or overcame a challenge.
If you frame your answers to follow this logic, it will give your interviewer a clear and concise overview of your relevant experience and exposures.
There are lots of ways you can stand-out, and we hope you’ve been able to get a few hints and tips for things to try in this post! In conclusion, the best way to stand out and leave a lasting impression with your interviewer is to turn up early, look the part, do your research, be able to easily demonstrate suitability for the role and to deliver it all with passion, conviction, and confidence.