How to stand out when applying for a job

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Ever heard the saying, 'be yourself because everyone else is taken'?

Every single one of us is unique. We have our own strengths, interests, passions and special things we bring to our workplace and job. When you’re applying for a job, here are some ways you can stand out and communicate your uniqueness.

Communicating your story

Knowing what makes you unique and being able to communicate this in your CV and/or cover letter is a great way to stand out when you’re applying for a job.

Making sure you stand out doesn’t have to be about skills, experience of qualifications.

It could be something to do with how you approach your work, your personal interests, how you communicate and build relationships – or even what motivates you – your personal 'why'.

When you’re writing your cover letter and CV, communicating your uniqueness, your 'story' and your personal 'why' is key.

Do your research

Making yourself stand out starts with understanding what the employer or hiring manager is looking for.

Are they looking for specific skills and experience? A particularly personality type or communication style? Are they hiring for attitude over experience and looking for someone who is keen to learn on the job?

In any case, standing out is about making sure what you communicate about yourself – and how you communicate it – is matched to what the employer is looking for.

This starts with a detailed review of the job advertisement and/or job description.

Find the key words and phrases – and think about how you can demonstrate that you have these things.

Customise your application

To make your application standout, use recent examples of any experience that is directly relevant to the role and tasks involved.

To demonstrate your ‘fit’ in terms of approach, attitude and personal style, you can use feedback you’ve had from previous managers or teammates.

Focus on values and achievements (not skills)

A standout CV doesn’t simply list skills and responsibilities. It goes into detail about what you achieved in previous jobs.

It also communicates your personal values and how you approach your work.

Be yourself

When you get to the interview stage, it’s important to simply be yourself and let your personality come through.

This will help you relax – and let the hiring manager to get to know you.

Follow up

After the interview, sending a follow up email is a good idea.

A simple thank you email or note adds a personal touch that is sure to make you standout from the crowd.


Ready to find your next job?

We have assisted thousands of kiwis to gain new skills and secure work. You might be recently out of work, needing confidence building and interview practice, have a health or disability challenge, or maybe you are switching fields and need support accessing funding for licenses or short courses.

We will work with you on a personalised plan to help you prepare for, find and maintain work.

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