BEATING THE COMPETITION
IN A COMPETITIVE JOB MARKET, WHAT CAN HELP MY APPLICATION TO STAND OUT FROM THE REST?
EXPERIENCED DARREN BUCHANAN MANAGING DIRECTOR, HAYS QUEENSLAND
Rather than a CV filled with details of your previous duties and responsibilities – points that could easily have come from your job description – provide proof that you did your previous jobs well. For example, instead of writing that you managed a team you could note ‘I united and motivated a team of five underperformers. After one year our customer service scores had increased 55 per cent’. Or rather than writing that you always achieved your target goals, try specifying the average percentage by which you surpassed them. It is this proof that will help your CV stand out.
MID-CAREER ANDREA DAVEY CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, EMPLOYMENT OFFICE
It is important that you stick to a clean, modern and easy-to-read format that attracts the employer and doesn’t overwhelm them. Put time and effort into making each application you submit carefully tailored to the job ad you’re responding to. It is your checklist for the skills and experience you need to mention in your cover letter and resume. Use explicit examples of why you’d be a good fit for the role and only use relevant examples. Most importantly – make sure you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons. Spelling errors and typos can show a lack of attention to detail.
UP & COMING JULIE FORD SENIOR EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT, McARTHUR
This is the hardest part of a job search and where you have the least control, especially with employers using technology to screen applications. Applications that stand out are the most relevant to the role. Keywords are vitally important so ensure you are using the correct terminology to describe responsibilities. However, we need to see not only what you are responsible for, but more importantly what you have achieved – what are your measurable results? It’s good to inject your personality into the application – a short statement about who you are and what your goals are.
THE EXPERT DR NERIDA HILLBERG DIRECTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, FERRIS MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS
In my opinion, three things set a great application apart from a good one. First, an error-free CV and application letter that are well-presented, concise and cogent. Second, compelling and quantified statements of how you not only meet, but exceed the key selection criteria. Third, evidence you’ve done your homework on the company you are applying to. Companies want people who share their values and goals. Examine and present the areas you’d focus on in the role. Look at the potential value-add you could bring to the business.