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Applying for jobs can be a very stressful experience, especially in an era in which the job market is highly competitive. Even people with phenomenal qualifications can end up not landing the jobs that they are qualified for, simply because they did not stand out enough to the interviewer. Being a head and shoulders above the rest of the candidates takes work and careful strategy – do you want to know how it’s done?Applying for jobs can be a very stressful experience, especially in an era in which the job market is highly competitive. Even people with phenomenal qualifications can end up not landing the jobs that they are qualified for.Click To Tweet
In this article, you will find key pieces of advice on how to set yourself apart from other candidates, in the application process and interview process!
How to Differentiate Yourself in Job Interviews:
- Research the company and industry thoroughly
- Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job posting
- Prepare for common interview questions and practice your responses
- Highlight your unique skills and experiences
- Show enthusiasm and passion for the role and company
- Demonstrate your problem-solving and critical thinking skills
- Ask thoughtful questions about the company and role
- Follow up with a thank-you note or email after the interview
- Provide examples of your past successes and how they can be applied to the new role
- Be authentic and genuine in your interactions with the interviewer.
Standing out on paper
Firstly, there is the paper application stage. This is the hardest part of a job application because you have no way of representing your true personality to the employer. Most job applications have two parts: a resumé and a cover letter. The resume presents the facts, while the cover letter gives you more room to explain and explore all the good qualities you have to offer. Here are a few ways to stand out on paper against other qualified candidates.
- Fill your time with short courses and online tutorials. There is an endless amount of knowledge you can learn from reputable, helpful sources online. YouTube and other online course platforms can teach you a multitude of amazing skills that you can use to improve your dedication and widen your skillset. This could be learning a new language, getting better software skills, or earning certificates in health and safety. Whatever applies to your field, you should be doing all you can to expand your repertoire.
- Simplicity is effective. If you overfill your resumé to the point where it is bulky and confusing to read, it comes across as anxious and unconfident. Trust your skills; trust simplicity.
Standing out in person
Now comes the interview stage. This is your chance to show your skills and dazzle the interviewer by being confident, professional, and calm. You probably know all this already – but what else can you do to tip the scales in your direction?
- Take notes during the interview. Many interviewees don’t do this because they don’t want to break eye contact; they want to come across as totally focused on the interviewer. However, from an interviewer’s perspective, it is very impressive to take notes. This is because it shows you are genuinely interested in the company and want to solidify your knowledge and understanding.
- Bring questions. At the end of every interview, your interviewer will ask: “Any questions?” If you don’t have anything to say, it will come across as uninterested or unprepared. Always show up with questions about the company, the job, or anything related.
- Don’t say what you think they want to hear. “Being yourself” sounds like a cliche, but it is vital in a job interview for a role that is important to you. Show them your ideas, and your true self, and they will respect you for it.
Standing out is not just about having great qualifications, it is about standing out from the crowd in the tiny details of a job application. Use this helpful guide to nail your next job application and land the role of your dreams.
What Color Is Your Parachute?
What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles is a classic job search book that provides valuable advice on interviewing techniques, among other things. This book is updated annually and covers all aspects of the job search process. The interviewing section of this book is particularly helpful because it provides guidance on how to prepare for different types of interviews, how to answer common interview questions, and how to negotiate job offers.
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Cracking the Coding Interview
If you are applying for a technical job, Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell is the go-to book. This book is specifically designed to help programmers and software engineers prepare for coding interviews. It provides over 150 programming questions that are frequently asked in coding interviews, along with detailed solutions and explanations. The book also includes tips on how to approach coding interviews, what to expect, and how to ace them.
Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition is here to help you through this process, teaching you what you need to know and enabling you to perform at your very best.
Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed
Sweaty Palms by H. Anthony Medley is a comprehensive book that provides guidance on all aspects of the interview process. It covers topics such as how to prepare for an interview, what to wear, how to answer common interview questions, and how to negotiate job offers. The author also includes examples of successful interviews, as well as interviews that did not go well, to help readers learn from the experiences of others.
A newly updated edition of the comprehensive guide to job interviews that has over a half million copies in print, SWEATY PALMS teaches readers everything they need to know in order to land the job of their dreams.
Whether a first-time job seeker searching for that elusive entry-level position or a seasoned e