How to stand out from the crowd
You are applying for the job you really like. You are excited and you believe that you are a great fit for that role - but you are not the only one.
You may have all of the qualifications required and a compelling track record to talk about, and you may have a winning personality too. But with the tough job market and fierce competition, what can you do to stand out from other applicants?
How can you show that you are willing to go the extra mile – that you want and deserve the job more than other candidates?
Here are some ideas how to win over an employer:
Do quality research
It is very important how you answer “What do you know about us?” question. Reciting the basic information from the standard website will not help you stand out. You can be sure that other potential candidates will all access the same information. Instead, be proactive and look for their annual report, articles and media coverage and talk to people in the industry. That will help you get a feel for the type of language the company uses, to understand what really matters to the company and learn about the company’s culture, clients and competitors, success factors and marketing strategies. You will show you’ve gone the extra mile in the way you’ve researched for the role.
Act like you already work there
You will impress your interviewer if you demonstrate how you’d add value to the business. Think and act as if you’re ready to start the role tomorrow and show that to your interviewer. Share your plans and ideas about what you would do over the first few months of starting the role. You can give an example of something that you would do on the job, like a piece of analysis or explain how you would contribute to solving a challenge the company is facing. You will show that you have done significant thinking and preparation and that you really want that job.
Make use of your other skills and experience
Think about your skills from other parts of your life that can be useful in your job search and interview. Even when not directly related to the job you applied for, your other skills and experiences can help you provide a unique perspective and creative ideas and that can make you stand out from other interviewees.
Try to find ways to use imaginative presentation to stand out from the crowd, for instance in the look and feel of your slide deck, by your digitally-savvy personal CV site, by building an online portfolio or personal blog. Showing creativity in the application process will demonstrate energy and initiative. The goal is to leave an impression and make the interviewer remember you. It’s another way of showing that you are willing to go the extra mile.
Demonstrate grit and resilience
Hirers are often looking for evidence of softer skills, such as grit and resilience. Grit is strongly correlated with job success. Any candidate looking to stand out should demonstrate grit through academic and work experiences. The ability to bounce back from difficulties and learn from adversity is an especially vital skill. Think about how you can illustrate your ability to deal with change and adapt in a fast-moving world with rapid technological changes.
Show a growth mindset
A soft skill that can definitely help you stand out from the crowd is ‘learning agility’. Demonstrate evidence of your willingness and enthusiasm to move with the times, your ability to develop new skills and expand into new areas as business requirements and priorities evolve. Show how you were able to take charge of your own development and overcome obstacles in your previous roles. For example, have you learned coding to develop a new website under budget restrictions, have you learned a new language to expand your knowledge of a market? Your story will show that you will be an asset to your employer not just today, but in the future too.
Add a personal touch
Making a personal connection can make a huge difference. Look if you know anyone within the company who can recommend you or hand-deliver your CV. Make an effort to be as personal as possible during the application process by trying to find the name of the hiring manager or the person you’d be working directly for to address your documents. Remember the names of everyone involved and use them often throughout meetings and interviews. Keep in close communication with your interviewers by being proactive: don’t wait for them to get in touch, thank them at every stage and reinforce your interest in the next stage.
Reaching out to your potential employer after an interview will help you leave a lasting impression. A thoughtful and personalized follow-up thank you note will give you another chance to get your name in front of your potential employer. If you include specific topics from the conversation with your interviewer, it will also show that you were fully engaged throughout the process.
How we work at The Hidden Market:
We're specialists in commercial careers: think digital, marketing, sales, and product. We place professional candidates in a range of specialisms in professional marketing jobs in a variety of industries.
With professionals, essentially we are a strong recruitment partner for you, taking the time to truly understand what might interest you and to match you to roles on your skills. If you would like to find the best marketing roles then you can sign up here.
With brands essentially we’re an extension of your brand, connecting it to more passive talent. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you drive engagement with candidates and attract the best talent then get in touch with us - email@example.com or you can register a company account here.
Author: James Gilford - Founder of The Hidden Market.
James has significant experience in hiring & coaching marketing & digital leaders and building their teams across a range of sectors and business types from start-ups to corporates. After running recruitment teams for leading marketing recruitment agencies, James left to set up The Hidden Market in April 2020 with the core aim to improve the recruitment market and provide alternatives for candidates and clients equally.