How to stand out when applying for roles

It’s a tough gig looking for a job these days. It can be a full-time job in itself; however, like anything, if you are prepared and understand the process, it can be a much easier, simpler and more efficient.  Also, you can bring something a bit unique to the process, so you stand out over other candidates.

You can guarantee that you are not the only person applying or interviewing for the job. In some cases, advertised roles can reach in excess of 50 applications, and according to several studies, recruiters will only spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing a resume! So how do you make sure your standout among all those people competing for the same role?


Ensure your CV is outcome driven, don’t include a laundry list of your skills or daily tasks, this can come across as generic and doesn’t really give the interviewer much to go on when they are assessing you against their criteria.

Job applications

Make sure you keep a track of the jobs where you have been included in the process.  It can be frustrating for employers to speak to a candidate, only for them to respond with “I’ve applied to so many roles, where are you from again”? Get a spreadsheet, make a list or whatever works for you but make sure you appear to know where you’ve applied!


Make sure you know the company (and interviewer!). Something caught your interest from the job advertisement or the role, so make sure you explain what that interest is and why. There are so many ways to find information about organisations these days, so utilise this and make sure you go in prepared. Organisations want to know why you are interested, so have a reason!

Meaningful questions

In the interview, most interviewers should turn the questioning over towards you near the end. This is your chance to make an impression and to really understand the role, organisation and culture of the company.  From this, you will be able to make a considered decision if this is the place you want to work. Leave out questions like, ‘what are the hours’ or ‘how long do I have for lunch’. If you have applied for a full time role, that answer isn’t really going to give you much value; however asking a question like, “what are the growth goals like for your department and how does this role help achieve them”, should really leave the interviewer with a feeling that you care, and want to help grow the organisation.

Follow up

This should be a standard, but still, it’s not often interviewers get an email of thanks or follow up about the interview. It’s super easy to do and will help you stand out from the 4 or so other people they had met that day.

All in all, treating your job search with the respect it deserves will make the process of finding a role much easier. You will ensure that you are memorable (in a good way) throughout the process and will have a greater chance of nailing your next dream job!



By |2019-03-22T09:11:34+00:00March 21st, 2019|Categories: Before the Interview, Resume Tips, Talking to Recruiters|0 Comments

About the Author:

Peta joined PeopleScout early in 2016 and leads the LexisNexis Account across the Pacific region. Peta has obtained a degree in Business and Commerce majoring in HR and Management and has been working in HR for the last 15 years. With a passion for recruitment, Peta focuses on delivering innovative solutions across her account, always ensuring a quality candidate experience.

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