Tips on how to stand out from your fellow candidates

The current job market is highly competitive: what an astute and revelatory observation, right? At this point, we could very well digress into an entire paragraph about how we got here and, of course, just how undesirable (even reprehensible) said competitiveness is. Maybe it could also include a thinly veiled (and justified) rant on how big a lie the idea of “Degree = Security” really is.

As relatable as all of this may be, however, it skips yet another equally obvious fact: that candidates still make it despite the competition. And while the sheer flood of equally-qualified candidates can make it quite difficult for potential employers to recognise you (we aren’t lying when we say that the vast majority of such CVs are seen as expendable by most employers), standing out from them is not impossible.

Accordingly, here are five effective ways in which you can stand out from your fellow candidates during the recruitment process.

Really study your job description

Read the title again – note the word “study”. Given that we tend to miss a lot at first glance, studying your job description – frankly in the same way that you may have studied the question paper of an important exam in your past – is the key to figuring out not only what’s expected of you, but also whether you even want the job in the first place. For example, while a job description might read quite appealing at first (especially when you’re viewing one after another on a job platform like Naukri), missing crucial details such as the necessary qualifications, experience or the exact nature of the role can result in your CV being entirely ignored at worst or you landing an ill-fitting job at worst.

Strategise your interview

While we all “prepare” for our interviews in a number of different ways, most of this preparation revolves primarily around figuring out the possible questions we may be asked regarding our experience or knowledge in the field. However, there are so many other things that an interviewer looks for in a candidate, such as your:

  • Body language
  • Soft skills
  • Self-awareness
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Understanding of the company (this partly relates back to the previous point)

Taking the above into account, imagine yourself in the interviewer’s place: what would you look for in a candidate? Strategise your interview accordingly.

Be and appear excited

Speaking of things that recruiters look for in potential candidates, they are particularly fond of those who appear to be very eager and motivated to work for them. While this might seem bafflingly obvious, it bears repeating since your excitement – whilst doubtlessly real – needs to be obvious in your body language and interview answers. Think about it: wouldn’t you want your adequately-qualified and experienced candidate to bring a positive energy to your company? Thus, in addition to having a likeable personality, it’s also important to appear excited to be applying for a job in order to positively stand out from your immediate competition.

Act like a leader

Whilst the definition of an “ideal” candidate may vary depending on whom you ask, we’d bet that a significant attribute common to nearly all of them would be leadership skills. It’s not hard to see why: effective leadership at any level can play a significant role in streamlining and enhancing any organisation’s workflow considerably. Given that most candidates are simply content to play a small role in a business, those who display these aforementioned leadership qualities are quite sought after. Appearing motivated and capable of passing down that sense of motivation to your co-workers can hence be a huge advantage in your favour when applying for the job of your choice.

Be willing to be trained

Your training does not stop with your degree: many jobs will require you to enter a certain period of training before you can become a proper part of that organisation. This training often not only allows you to acquire new skills that are crucial for the field of work but it also allows you sharpen your existing ones, thus enhancing your productivity overall. In addition to this, it provides you the opportunity to test your skills in a practical setting before you get to deploy them for real. It’s hence a big plus if your potential employer gets the impression that you’re intellectually curious enough to be trainable as it also tells them that you’re willing to grow, learn and improve with time – who could possibly beat that!

 In addition to the five we’ve listed above, there are many more tips that we can mention in short, such as (among others):

  • Conveying a solid 30-60-90 plan (i.e., your plans for the first 30, 60 and 90 days of your job).
  • Engaging in casual conversation to strike up a rapport (which helps interviewers gauge your personality).
  • Asking questions that are meaningful from the company’s perspective instead of your own.

Excel any interview and stand out from other candidates by following these simple tips. Come follow us on Instagram for more!

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