How to Stand Out at your Next Job Application

I just wanted to share an article, written by a friend as I think the topic could be useful to anyone looking for their first role, or who’s looking to change jobs:


At the age of 59, I was faced with being back on the job market through redundancy, and me with no formal computing qualifications. My old company had held out the possibility of redeployment elsewhere in the company if there was a suitable opening. I reasoned that there was a lot of stuff I’d done that wasn’t on the CV I’d submitted for the testing role that was ending, so I sent HR a supplementary CV with all the stuff they didn’t know about.

Long story short, it made no difference (though it made me feel better about myself for taking some small measure of control over the process), but I then revised my CV, taking some of the most notable things out of the “non-testing” CV and adding them to my headline personal statement at the top of page 1. The objective was to get a gatekeeper to go “Wow! We should at least see this person!”

That worked both ways. It made some potential employers - including the people I work for now - say “Those are skills we don’t have in the company - we should see this person.” And those employers for whom that meant nothing were probably not employers I would have been happy working for anyway. So, if there’s anything unique about you or your skill set, make sure the first person to read your CV sees it.

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I would add to the “Apply Everywhere” section (or add it as a new one):

If you are untrained at interviews apply at some random jobs AS TRAINING before you apply at your favorite companies. Without this you are more likely to screw it up.
Doing an interview well enough on a basic level (not being very insecure and knowing some standards, being used to meet people in such situations) needs exercise.

And who knows … maybe one of the exercise interviews opens a unexpected path. :slight_smile:

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You’re right, interviewing is a skill that can be learned, and to learn it you need to practice by going to actual interviews, sometimes without the intention of passing the interview, just to get exposure to the experience.

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