Sarah Thomas

Applying for a job can feel overwhelming at best, but it can feel like an impossible task in a competitive job market. On many job boards, you can see how many others have applied for the same job. When you see that number climb past the thousands and into the tens or hundreds of thousands, it’s easy to feel dejected. Read on to learn the secret to making your job application stand out from the crowd so that you can get the job of your dreams.

Refine Your Resume

Your resume is an important part of the hiring process, but it isn’t the whole story. With that being said, it is often the first impression that you give to a recruiter or HR representative. Go over your resume to be sure that it is entirely accurate and fully represents your job history and skill set. Ensure that there are no grammatical or typographical errors and that the resume is easy to read and understand. Choose the correct format for your resume – either a creative, functional, chronological, or hybrid resume, depending on your experience and goals.

You should also tailor your resume for the job that you’re applying to.  If you’re applying for a job in the financial industry, highlight the relevant skills and experience in your previous jobs that are applicable to finance, and minimize the experience that isn’t as relevant. Don’t be afraid to include non-professional experience, as long as it demonstrates skills that would be useful to the position that you’re interested in. Remember that many types of experiences showcase soft skills like leadership, communication, time management, and adaptability. These skills are invaluable and should be displayed on your resume whenever possible.

 Follow Directions to Make Your Job Application Stand Out

Read through the job application thoroughly and follow the directions carefully. If the ad instructions direct you to go to another site to apply, even if you can apply on the site where you found the job, you need to follow the instructions. If the ad instructs you to submit a cover letter with your resume, you must submit a cover letter. Following the instructions closely shows the hiring department or the recruiter that you pay attention to detail and take their time, and your own, seriously. Reading the job ad carefully also gives you an excellent insight into the company. Note the skills you need to showcase in your resume and cover letter and incorporate them into your application. If the ad specifies specific lengths of time of experience, note that you meet those requirements in your application.

Do Your Research

A little time spent researching the company can truly make you stand out during the application process. Business Insider suggests researching the company values and making sure that your own values are in alignment. Company culture will be an integral part of your job experience, so you need to know in advance how well you will fit into the culture of the prospective company.  If you’re applying to a small company, it would be beneficial to research the department or team that you’re interested in working with in the future. Check your own LinkedIn to see if you have any connections in common if you’re looking to build a relationship with potential future co-workers.  If the prospective company is large, follow them on social media and poke around their website. By doing your research, you’ll be a step ahead of other applicants.

Supplement Yourself to Help Your Job Application Stand Out

Showcase your skills beyond your resume. If you have creative work, include a link to a portfolio. Samples of your work are always a welcome addition to applications for writing gigs. Be sure to highlight anywhere you are on social media if it is suitable for an employer to view.

Go beyond your resume and include a PIC report to show off your potential and soft skills. Our PIC report highlights your performance and interpersonal style at work and includes a section on role compatibility. It’s a great way to make your resume stand out. You’re showing a potential employer that there’s more to you than just your previous jobs and accomplishments. The PIC shows off your soft skills and potential, something that a resume can’t do.