How to stand out!
To improve your chances of getting a job, you’ll need to stand out. Danny Gibson takes a look at some of the ways you can raise your hand….
Tips on standing out:
1 – On your CV, make sure you have something that will catch the reader’s eye so that they remember you (obviously in a positive way!) It can be relevant to the role or completely separate, although if you can draw transferable skills from whatever it maybe then even better.
For instance, a personal example of how I do this is to mention how I have been a drummer in a band for 7 years, having supported Mani from The Stone Roses.
This highlights multiple things:
1) I have a skill that has required dedication and perseverance – learning to play
2) I can work with others creatively for an extended length of time – being in a band for 7 years
3) It sticks in the readers mind as I have had some form of success and had the pleasure to support a famous musician which makes it stand out.
So have a think about what separates you from the crowd and the skills you can emphasise and apply to the role you’re applying too.
2 – Before you even start the application process, map out all the past experiences that you can draw upon. These experience will help sculpt not only your CV, but also how you answer application questions as well as interview questions. The key here is to spend time reflecting back on your experiences, achievements and challenges so that whatever gets thrown at you, you’re able to draw upon the most relevant and impressive answer.
For instance, you may be part of a highly successful sports team, but why were you successful and what did you contribute? Also, what were the challenges and how did you deal with them? The main thing is to take an experience and think of different ways you can use it to answer a question.
3 – Remember when answering questions during the whole application process, from CV through to the interview, to always refer to yourself specifically. The interviewer only wants to know about you so talk about your individual contribution and use “I” instead of “we”. For instance “I contributed by…” as opposed to “we contributed by…”.
The focus and attention is on you!
4 – In an interview smile, shake the interviewers hand and try to turn your nerves into a positive energy. The interview will pick up on all of these things and help to put themselves at ease too! They’re wanting to be impressed and if their first impressions are positive one, then that will set up the interview in the best possible way.
Oh and when you shake the interviewers hand, make sure your palms aren’t sweaty. Remember to wipe them down before the interview first meets you – wiping them on your clothes just before you shake their hand doesn’t give off the best impression.
5 – Prepare smart questions. Anytime during the application process where you’ll be talking to an interview, whether on the phone or face to face, always prepare a 2 or 3 questions to ask them at the end. These should be relevant to the role and/or company, yet not something you should already know, as you should hopefully have done plenty of research beforehand.
Finally, feel free to ask follow up questions to any answer the interview gives you, this will show that you’re engaged with what they had to say and also make it more conversational and two way. Good luck!