How to stand out from the crowd during your job search

How to stand out from the crowd during your job search
How to stand out from the crowd during your job search

posted 24 Aug 20

The job market is a competitive place right now, but don't panic if you are a job seeker as there are still opportunities and employers who need to hire. The key question is how can you make yourself stand out from the crowd? 


Search has over 35 years of recruitment experience, helping connect talented professionals with rewarding and fulfilling jobs. Our recruitment experts have curated a list of top tips to assist your efforts to stand out from the crowd of eager job-hunters. Read on to help glean a crucial advantage over the competition and make the best first impression to prospective employers.

1. Emphasise your flexibility

Perhaps you have a strong CV with relevant experience, but you can’t rely on this alone to land an interview. You’ll need to prove that you are better equipped for the job than your competitors and are prepared to go above and beyond. Employers look for evidence that applicants are willing to learn new skills and take on additional responsibilities. Make it clear that you’re capable and willing to rise to their expectations.

When you are applying for a job (and again in the interview), demonstrate to the prospective employer that you relish new challenges and are always looking for opportunities to expand your skill set. Draw attention to any relevant examples of this from your previous work experience.

2. Turn adversity to your advantage

With intense competition for job opportunities during Covid-19, it’s important to prove to employers that you’re enthusiastic and resilient. Show them that even in adverse circumstances, you have the strength and determination to pick yourself up and keep yourself occupied.

Employers will get nervous when they see long gaps between jobs in CVs, even if you have a perfectly good reason for them. What you do need to show, however, is that you haven’t just spent the time waiting for the perfect job to fall into your lap. Make sure you’ve kept yourself productive and active during your time off. For example, try taking an online course or learning a new skill.

3. Retool your resume

If you are looking for a new job and have not revamped your CV recently, it’s a good idea to do so. Don’t assume that your CV is fine and you have nothing else to add - you should always keep your CV updated, or better, have multiple versions. When employers are inundated with applications for a single role, they are not likely to spend too much time reading each CV, but instead will scan read looking for relevant keywords and skills.

Revisit your CV and see whether it could benefit from any changes. Check for grammatical or spelling errors, and remember the importance of presentation. Use bullet points to accentuate skills and relevant past experience. Is there anything on your CV that doesn’t need to be there? It may sound like obvious advice, but you’d be surprised how many candidates overlook them, and these changes could give you the edge.

4. Be responsive

Of course, you can never guarantee a reply from a prospective employer. But if you receive one, ensure to respond as quickly as possible. Employers don’t like to be left hanging around and appreciate it when applicants quickly reply to their emails and messages. Again, when you’re looking for a job in a competitive market, you have to find ways to stand out from the crowd, and this is a quick win. It suggests you’re bright, engaged and keen, all qualities employers love.

5. Show initiative

Before you submit a job application, think for a second: how else could you demonstrate initiative and emphasise your credentials? Perhaps you have a portfolio of previous work that you could send across or a personal website you can link to. If you don’t have a portfolio, why not put one together? These are all effective ways to demonstrate why you’re better equipped to do the job than your competitors. Don’t bombard your potential employer but do give them something extra to catch their attention.

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