5 ways to stand out from the crowd during your job search

5 ways to stand out from the crowd during your job search
5 ways to stand out from the crowd during your job search

posted 25 Sep 23

For every job vacancy, there is an average of 506 job applications, according to CIPD. Whilst this figure demonstrates a highly competitive job market, that doesn’t mean it is impossible to get noticed. Nowadays, setting yourself apart from the crowd doesn’t require years of experience and industry knowledge. Instead, you'll need to demonstrate what value you can bring to a company and how you would be an excellent cultural fit.

But how exactly can you stand out from the crowd during your job search? Consider the following five tips to help you stand out from other candidates and land your next role.  

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. On the contrary, if you are seeking a role within the tech or creative industry, you can be more flexible with your colour palette. You may even want to consider taking inspiration from the employer's colour scheme in your CV to demonstrate your research into their organisation.  

Use a CV layout that is easy to skim read 

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:  

  • Headings, subheadings, and bullet points. 
  • Lighter and darker tones of your chosen colour to highlight key takeaways. 
  • If appropriate for your industry, use infographics to highlight 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 prove 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 will look for candidates 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 which 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, particularly if they compliment the job role or company culture. Offering further insight into your character will make you more memorable and improve your chances of being considered for an interview.  

Example: 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. For example, running 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 you are interested in the role. Go the extra mile with your research, and rather than reiterating their about page, delve deep into what the company stands for. Consider the company mission, values, and goals, and when asked what you know about the company, weave elements into your answer.  

A candidate who understands company goals and how their support can work towards this will score higher than a candidate who repeats company facts.  

4. Highlight your growth mindset in interviews

Employers look for candidates that will add value to their company, seize opportunities, and invest in continuous development. Employers will look for examples of where you have treated challenges like opportunities and failures as lessons that you have grown from. Take a look at our STAR technique blog for guidance on how to structure your answers. 

5. Send a follow-up email to your interviewer

To leave a positive impression and increase your chances of landing your next job, reach out to the employer with a post-interview follow-up email. 

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 courtesy and demonstrates your interest in the role, it's also a simple and effective way to ensure your name is still at the forefront of your interviewer's mind. 

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Speak to one of our specialists

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For further advice to stand out from the crowd during your job search, our specialist recruiters are here to discuss. Get in touch with our team today to discuss how we can support you to gain an edge over your competition and find your next role.