How to Stand Out on a Job Application
In such a competitive world, it can be very hard to stand out among hundreds of other people when applying for jobs.
Employers often have a checklist of things they look for in job candidates, and if you don’t meet all of the requirements, your application may be pushed to the side.
Whether you’re looking for a part-time position while in school, or you’re applying for your dream job within your career field, the same general rules apply for making sure you get noticed in a sea of other applications.
1. Highlight your related experience.
Any work experience is important to note on most job applications, but some types of experience are more important than others.
If you’re applying for a part-time retail sales position, for example, employers will be most interested in experience you’ve had in the retail sales field, and they will be less interested in unrelated experience.
When filling out your application, make sure your related experience is prominently displayed. This way, it will be one of the first things employers notice.
2. Write professionally.
Whether you’re writing a cover letter or simply filling out a short answer question, your grammar usage can make a huge difference in how employers perceive you.
While the content of your application will likely be more important than the way you present it, there is still value in using the English language clearly and correctly, especially if the job itself requires written communication skills.
Writing in complete sentences with correct grammar and syntax instantly tells the employer you are detail-oriented, which can put you a step ahead of other applicants.
3. Include strong references.
When considering you for a job, employers will likely call the references you list on your application to get a better idea of who you are. Because of this, you probably do not want to list people who barely know you.
If chosen correctly, references should highlight your positive traits, not decrease your chances of getting the job.
To prevent your references from being caught off guard if they receive a call from an employer, ask them beforehand if they are okay with being listed as references. This way, they can be more prepared if an employer calls.
4. Mention extracurricular activities.
Many employers are interested in those who have not only excelled in school and work, but who also have an impressive list of extracurricular activities.
From community service to honor societies to clubs, extracurricular activities complement and enhance your application by showing you care about building relationships with others and benefiting your community.
If you have participated in extracurricular activities that relate in some way to the job you’re applying for, list those activities first. Just like related work experience, your related activities should stand out so employers can find them quickly and easily.
Even if you don’t get the first job you apply for, don’t be discouraged! There are thousands of job opportunities out there, and one of them has your name on it.