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5 Ways to Stand Out When Applying for Jobs


The last year has brought a huge change to the job market. Since the pandemic, according to our Remote Working Report, 44% of people said their priorities had changed when it came to choosing a company to work for, with a better work-life balance (31%) and option to work remotely (27%), now outweighing both compensation (19%) and career progression (13%). In fact, 1/3 of workers would consider the same or even a lower salary for the opportunity to work remotely indefinitely.

With these changes to the market, job seekers know exactly what they want and are applying for roles across almost all sectors. What does this mean for those looking to find a job?

The obvious one is that there is more competition. The market has now become more employer-driven, meaning that employers are in the position to be more selective. It also means that there is generally very little in the deciding factors between candidates as many will have similar work experience and education.

So how can you set yourself apart from other job applicants?

To help you get noticed and stand out in your sector, here is a list of some top tips for job seekers of all levels.

1. Utilise your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to gain insight into a business and connect with other professionals.

Your LinkedIn profile is an interactive, online version of your CV and it should be treated like that by being constantly updated and maintained. If you complete a project or complete a career milestone that you're proud of, take the time to post about it as it could be a discussion point with a prospective employer.

When applying for jobs, a great way to stand out is to connect with industry professionals. Engage with others on posts through comments and likes and take part in discussions on topics relevant to your industry. Remember to always try and add value and share your own insights via posts too.

By doing this, you'll be able to connect with new people and broaden your opportunities. You can find lots of other great ways to attract recruiters via LinkedIn in this blog.

2. Customise your CV & cover letter for each job you apply for

Always take the time to customise and double-check your job applications before sending them. A red flag for a recruiter is receiving an application for a role that is addressed to a completely different position.

This straight away shows a lack of interest and lack of attention to detail. While you may have great experience to back up your CV the opening statement is very important.

An easy way to highlight your suitability for a role is to include a bio on your CV, and customise this for every position you apply for. You can find more advice on updating your CV in our CV Handbook.

3. Be specific and selective

Employers are interested in hiring candidates who are genuinely passionate about the company or the role they are applying for.

Rather than filling out every job application you see, narrow down your search to the roles that are most relevant to your skills and experience.

Think about what industry you are most interested in and what job function you excel at. Through doing this you will focus your attention and send out fewer applications but your response rate will increase.

4. Find your unique selling point

Don't be afraid to stand out! Many job seekers are afraid to market themselves and as a result, end up blending in with everyone else. Some great ways to stand out are to work on a personal project, take part in volunteer work in your field of interest, write blogs, or make videos. What are you passionate about? What can you do better than anyone else you know?

Again, LinkedIn is a great platform to share your content and work. Doing this shows prospective employers what you can bring to the table before you even get to the interview stage.

5. Work with a recruiter

Working with a recruiter is a great way to stand out in the market. Recruiters can help you refine your search and present you with the most relevant opportunities. They can also help you update your CV, prepare for job interviews and educate you on specific market insights.

Recruiters have strong relationships with hiring managers and can get your CV in front of the right person rather than getting lost in an inbox of applications. We can help you market yourself in the right way, ensure your CV has the right information on it and will help you find opportunities.

If you're still not sure how best to stand out when applying for jobs or if you would like to chat about job opportunities, get in touch – one of our recruiters would be happy to advise.

This article was originally written in 2020 and has since been updated