Stand Out 2

3 ways to stand out from stiff competition

02/04/2014BY: Tracey Mesken

The average candidate today comes fully equipped with a CV, qualifications and work experience. In a competitive employment market where hundreds of capable candidates are all going for the same roles, what is it that sets apart candidates from the competition?

Differentiating yourself is not always an easy thing to achieve, but there are definitely some basic approaches you can take to help you strengthen your professional image and leave a strong impression on a potential employer.

Here are three relatively simple but important things that will help you stand out – both in your job search and in your day-to-day working life.

1. Constantly up skill

Don't fall into the trap of being content with your current qualifications, especially if you're looking for vocational roles. It is likely that the competition has the same or similar qualifications as you, so be constantly on the lookout for professional development opportunities. Some examples include;

2. Maintain your professionalism

It's not only what you put in your CV or say in an interview that determines whether you get hired over competition, but also what an employer has seen or heard about you. It’s therefore important to maintain an air of professionalism wherever you project an image of yourself to the public. In a job-hunting context, this can include:

  • Keeping your

    relevant and compelling, and monitor the content of your other social media pages.

  • Paying attention to minor details such as your email address and your voicemail message - are they professional?

  • Start to actively seek out and build business relationships through networking events and your social and professional networks. Employers look at how well you carry yourself in the public sphere.

All employees are essentially brand ambassadors for their company, and how you manage your own reputation is an indicator of how well you'll reflect the business.

3. Quite simply, keep a positive attitude

Job hunters tend to focus on hard skills and qualifications in the hope those will help them land a position. While these skills are of course a requisite, the best applicants really set themselves apart through the attitude they convey to employers.

  • Be confident and positive. Interviews can be daunting, but if you go into it anticipating the worst, your body language will reflect this attitude.

  • Avoid negative comments or remarks – particularly in relation to previous roles, employers or colleagues.

  • Maintain an upbeat and friendly demeanour in all interactions, whether you're speaking with a potential employer on the phone or a sending them a follow-up email.

Follow these basic principles to ensure you have the best chance of standing out from the competition.