Tips for making your application stand out from the crowd

We’d like to build on this list using anecdotal evidence and advice directly from local employers – they want you to be successful in your application too!

Your future employer wants to fill their vacancy with the best candidate that they can find. Your future employer does not want to wade through thousands of CVs to find that person – this is inefficient and a waste of time. They want to find the ‘golden needle’ in the haystack of applications – make sure it is you!

You just want to find a job – make yourself the shiny needle in that haystack and you are on your way to being successful in your job application.

  • 1. STEP BACK AND THINK ABOUT IT - ″Click, apply″ does not mean you are really applying for the job – what you’re really doing is flinging your CV against your future employer’s wall and hoping it will stick – it won’t! It has a good chance of being ″deleted, NEXT!″ There will be loads of other lazy candidates thinking that ″click, apply″ is all they need to do too. You’ll all be surprised that you ″never hear anything″ once you’ve applied – why should they reply to that lazy approach – or put another way, what’s the point of simply flinging your mud back at you? What you need to do is separate yourself from the field and stand out with an impressive application.

  • 2. FAIL TO PREPARE, PREPARE TO FAIL (or p*ss-poor planning creates p*ss-poor performance) – we didn’t make those phrases up – they have been generated through observations over the years by others who have seen the negative impact of failure to plan. Just think how positive your future employer will feel about your application if you have given their business and the advertised job some prior thought: What industry are they in? (Have you got experience in their industry that you can bring to the table) Will they be getting busy for a particular season? (You appreciate that you will have to hit the ground running) Did you see them in the news recently? Or hear their ad on the radio? (You are demonstrating that you are interested in their business) Do you like visiting their establishment if they are a shop, pub or attraction? (Tell them! You’ll want to make sure others have a lovely visit) Do you know their reputation – can you find some independent positive opinion about them on the internet? (You have bothered to think about their business and do a bit of research?) Are they large or small? (May or may not be something you can comment on – but you follow the pattern here!)

  • 3. MAKE A STRONG FIRST IMPRESSION – In sales this is called an Opening Benefit Statement (OBS) – what’s yours? Using any intelligence you have gathered in the preparation stage – can you compose a really strong opening sentence about the job and why you would be good at it? E.g If your CV is full of hair-dressing experience, but you are applying for a local bar job - how would you adapt to be the perfect addition to their bar staff team? In the first instance, the chances are you have loads of customer service experience! You perform well under pressure. You may even have till experience..... Putting a strong statement first will mean that anything else an employer reads about you will be within the context of this first impression. In your statement, try to put their needs first

    ″Your business is coming up to the busiest time of year, I’d like to help you get prepared for the season and can start immediately″

    ″You’ve won awards for your customer service, I have lots of experience in helping customers and would love to join your team″

    ″Delicious food is one of the areas where your (pub, hotel) stands out from the crowd. The role of kitchen porter is key to the smooth running of the kitchen, especially in busy periods. I have experience in a fast paced environment and am a team player and would love to join your kitchen staff and help you build on your reputation.″

  • 4. WE’RE EXHAUSTED TOO! – Applying for jobs is a thoughtful business, it should be tiring on your grey cells - it takes time to make a strong application. It should be a real effort! If you’ve spent no time on your application – why should an employer spend any time on you?