Tags: Career Guidance, blog

For every job vacancy, there is an average of 506 job applications and whilst the job market is highly competitive, that doesn’t mean to say it’s impossible to get yourself noticed. Nowadays, setting yourself apart from the crowd doesn’t require years worth of experience and industry knowledge, instead, it’s all about demonstrating what value you can bring to a company and how you’ll be an excellent cultural fit. 

But how exactly can you stand out from the crowd during your job search? Take a look at our 5 tips to help you stand out from other candidates and land your next job below. 

1. Perfect your CV design

Making a good first impression encompasses all aspects of your application process. Alongside following the standard ground rules of ensuring your CV is easy to navigate, simple and consistent in design, it should also best reflect you and the job you are applying for. Here are a few design tips to help your CV stand out from the crowd. 

Use a colour scheme that best reflects your industry 

If you are applying for a job within the professional services industry, stick to a dark or muted colour scheme. If you are seeking a job within the tech or creative industry, this is a chance for you to be more flexible with your colour palette. To stand out from the competition further, you may even want to consider using elements of your employer's colour scheme in your CV to demonstrate your research into their organisation.

Use a CV layout that is easy to skim 

The layout of your CV can be the make or break on whether your application sees the light of day. To make your CV skimmable and ensure that it stands out from other candidates, incorporate the following: 

  • Format your content with headings, subheadings and bullet points 

  • Use lighter and darker tones of your chosen colour to make key information stand out

  • If appropriate for your industry, use infographics to highlight key information such as contact details and experience

  • Use columns to help make your content more digestible

Top tip: Try not to get too carried away with your CV design as this can impact whether it is picked up by CV screening tools.

2. Include voluntary experience and hobbies on your CV 

Include relevant voluntary experience and hobbies to further support that you are an excellent cultural fit for their organisation and stand out from the job hunting crowd.

Voluntary experience

Noting down voluntary experience or courses you have done that directly relate to the job role is a great way to stand out from the crowd. Employers don’t expect you to know it all, but they do look for candidates that show they are invested in learning and development. Not only does including voluntary experience highlight your commitment to upskilling, but it also demonstrates that you have a growth mindset, and this is a quality many employers will be looking out for. 

Hobbies and interests

The hobbies and interests you include should help strengthen your CV and give a well-rounded view of you and your personality, therefore only hobbies that relate to your job role or the company culture should be included. Doing so, will help to give insight into your character, make you more memorable and improve your chances of being considered for an interview. 


If you are applying for a journalist role, you may want to include hobbies and interests that show you have good interpersonal skills and literature knowledge such as helping to run weekly events at a local club and reading articles in your spare time to keep up with current affairs. 

3. Research the company

Ultimately, the more you know about a company, the more it demonstrates that you are interested in the role. Go the extra mile with your research and instead of reiterating their about page, delve deep into what the company stands for. Take a look at the company mission, values, and goals, and when asked what you know about the company weave elements of this into your answer. 

A candidate that shows they understand the company goals and how their support can help to work towards this will be placed above a candidate that simply repeats company facts. 

4. Highlight your growth mindset in interviews

Employers look for candidates that are going to add value to their company, seize opportunities and invest in continuous development. To stand out from the crowd during your interview, employers will be looking for examples of where you have treated challenges like opportunities and failures as lessons that you have grown from. Take a look at our competency-based interview questions blog for guidance on how to structure your answers. 

5. Send a follow-up email to your interviewer

Leave a positive impression and increase your chances of landing your next job by reaching out to your employer with a post-interview email to give you the edge over your competition. 

In your follow-up email, thank your interviewer for their time and reference topics of conversation you discussed to show your employer that you were engaged throughout the interview. Not only is it standard courtesy and demonstrates your interest in the role, but it is also a simple and effective way to ensure your name is still at the forefront of your interviewer's mind.  

Looking for more advice on how you can stand out from the crowd during your job search? Our specialist recruiters can help. Get in touch with one of our team today to discuss how we can support you during your job hunt. 

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