How to stand out from the competition

1. Write a flawless CV
This may sound obvious, but have you read through your CV recently? If not do it now. Find any spelling mistakes? If not, bravo; if so, told you so! But don’t just go through your CV with a fine-toothed comb hunting down all the grammatical errors and spelling bloopers, make sure it’s honed to perfection in terms of being bang up to date, concise, sharp and makes the most of what you’ve got. Spending time perfecting your CV will help you stand out head and shoulders above the majority that don’t bother.

2. Tailor your applications to specific job specifications
And while your honing your CV, leave some space so that you can add details that are relevant to the specific job you are applying for. For example, if you’re going for a customer services position, make sure your CV contains information about your people skills, from being a good communicator, to stating your natural tolerance, patience and that you love helping people. Simple, but effective. Do this for each job you apply for and you’ll give yourself a head start.

3. Look for jobs in unusual places
Jobseekers can place themselves above the rest by looking for jobs in different ways. For example, rather than just using the internet, you could look for work by networking. This could include talking to employers directly, meeting up with people you know who work in any job sectors that interest you, and by attending careers fairs. This will also help you discover more about the role you’re after, and help you make sure that it’s right for you.

4. Use social networks
These days, many employers use social networks to find their next star employees – and that’s especially the case for technology-centric positions. Therefore, it can be a great idea for jobseekers to treat their social media profiles as resumés and use them to highlight career accomplishments.

LinkedIn is the obvious choice, and this social network is also great for seeking out people in the sector you want to work in and making a connection. You should also search out and join any groups that relate to the position you’re chasing, as they can contain some great contacts that could prove to be the route to a new career.

5. Get well briefed on the business
The recession has changed companies and most are now leaner and meaner than they have ever been. So when they take on a new employee, they want to make sure they are getting full value for money and that the new member of staff is totally committed to their role.
You can prove you can hit the ground running by doing your homework on the company whose vacancy you’re applying for. Show you know all about them, and ask some pertinent questions that also illustrate this and you are likely to be ahead of the pack.