Getting noticed can be key to success when you’re applying for a job and working out how to make yourself stand out can be a challenge. It can feel especially hard if you’ve been applying for roles and haven’t been hearing back from employers.
If you’re applying for a job now, how can you get noticed? A great job application is key to putting yourself in the running for a role, and there are some simple things you can do to make your application stand out.
Emma Teale, Recruitment Manager consulted by Seek, shares her tips on what stands out in an application, and ways to help yours get noticed.
Include a top-notch cover letter: A great cover letter is key to any job application, and nearly just as important as your resume. It’s a way to introduce yourself professionally, show the value you could bring to the role you’re applying for, and give a sense of who you are. Teale says the applications that stand out to her are the ones that really nail the cover letter.
“You can definitely tell when a candidate is dashing off 100 applications versus really applying for the job that they want,” she says. “I like to see a candidate’s voice coming through in their cover letter that explains why this is the job for them.”
Teale recommends reading the job ad carefully as it will help you to tailor your cover letter to the requirements of the job.
Highlight your transferable skills: Transferable skills are a core set of experiences and abilities that are useful in most roles and organisations. They are essentially attributes that you can easily take from one job to another. If your skills may translate to another sector or a different role, Teale says it’s important to highlight this in your application.
“I suggest helping a company to visualise your transferable skills by explaining the scenarios that you’ve been exposed to and how you’ve demonstrated that these can be transferred to different roles or industries,” adds Teale. “Go through the selection criteria in the ad, identify the closest thing that you have done that matches it and spell this out in your cover letter.”
Transferable skills that can be included in your resume cover organisational and execution skills, including time management and administration and clerical, communication skills including writing and face-to-face, people skills including cooperation and flexibility and leadership skills including prioritisation and delegation.
Mind the gaps: Plenty of people will at some point take time out of the workforce for study, travel, caring responsibilities or career changes. Teale says it’s important to explain gaps or unexpected career moves in your cover letter.
“If you’ve gone from one industry to another one with a completely different role, explain it,” she says. For example, if you made the change with a clear career purpose in mind, that may be seen as a positive thing. Always explain missing pieces to eliminate any second guessing.”
Be yourself: You don’t need to conceal your personality to write a professional application, says Teale. She recommends letting your true character through by perhaps adding some interesting detail about yourself or why you’re the best person for the job.
She adds that some companies now actively seek out and celebrate a diverse workforce, are more flexible, and are less inclined to expect you to fit into a certain box. “Don’t try to be someone else,” Teale says. “You want your next job to be one that you really love.”
While there’s no guarantee of getting a response for an application, trying different approaches like these can help to make your application as impressive and unique as possible, and give you the best chance of succeeding in your career journey.
For anyone requiring assistance with their job application documents, we provide resume and cover letter packages suitable for all career paths.