There are around 14 million graduates in the UK labour market. That’s a lot of people to compete against if you’re looking for a job! The good news is there are some tricks of the trade that can help ensure your application stands out from the crowd. Augusta Henning, PR Manager at CV-library has written on career related topics for over six years and offers her insight on how to differentiate your application.
Tailor it to the job
Firstly, it’s extremely important to tailor your application to each different job you apply for. While it can be tempting to fire off a generic CV and cover letter, this won’t help the employer to recognise your potential and you could be selling yourself short.
Start by reading the job description and picking out the key requirements of the job that you’re efficient in. For example, if you’re looking for a job in engineering and the advert states that you need a degree in maths, science, engineering or computing, this is your opportunity to show that you tick that box.
Following on from the above, we cannot stress the importance of using keywords enough in your application. Many companies now use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) to monitor applications that come through for each job. The technology matches each candidate against the job spec and assesses them on their suitability for the role.
This means that your application may not even reach a human eye before it’s rejected! Therefore, the best way to get passed these bots is to use relevant keywords from the job advert in your application.
Do your research
Another key component that can help your application stand out is research. If possible, do a quick internet search of the company you’re applying to and find out more about what it does and what it’s like to work for.
If you’re working with a recruitment agency and they can’t reveal the name of the company, try to get this information from the recruiter instead. It’s particularly important as you can make reference to any areas that interest you throughout your application – proving your dedication and interest in the role to the employer.
Keep it relevant
While it might be tempting to go into detail on every piece of work experience you’ve completed, it’s best to keep it relevant if you want your application to stand out.
For example, while your experience in babysitting as a teenager may have been useful to mention a few years ago, this probably isn’t going to be relevant if you’re looking for a job in IT. The employer wants to know what you can bring to their business – so keep your application concise and to the point.
Let your application stand out!
Searching and applying for jobs can be stressful – but don’t let this take away the excitement that comes with entering the world of work. So long as you follow the advice above, you’ll stand a much better chance of making your application stand out and ensure that you successfully secure a job after you graduate – good luck!