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4 ways to stand out when applying for a job
The competition can be fierce when job hunting, which is why it’s so important to find ways to stand out amongst a sea of qualified job applicants.
We asked a selection of our experienced recruiters what a great candidate looks like, with some interesting results.
Keep it short, sweet and clean
- Aim to keep your CV concise.
- Use bullet points as opposed to text-heavy paragraphs.
- Start with your current position and bullet point your main responsibilities, highlighting any successes you have had in that. This is all they need to know, for now.
- Proof read your CV. It may be a good idea to ask a family member or friend to take a second look too as they may spot something you didn’t. Ensure a clear layout.
“If you’re a contractor who has over 10 years worth of experience, provide summary details of the most recent roles as normal, then condense anything older than 10 years into a brief list including company, job title and date. This will easily shred a few pages off your CV.”
Senior Recruitment Consultant
A good example of how to set out your CV is as follows…
- Contact details.
- Brief overview (6-8 lines) of who you are, your career highlights and ambitions.
- Qualifications and big achievements.
- Work history starting with your most recent role.
- Hobbies and interests.
“A well-presented CV says a lot about a candidate and with it being the first impression your potential future employer has of you, it’s vital it is well set out. Always remember to keep it neat and consistent. Stick to one font and size, try to stay away from using multiple colours and make it easy to scan through.”
Be enthusiastic and confident
Ask yourself why you want this job so much and show your passion in the interview. Think what drives you to be the best version of yourself? Is it the sense of accomplishment or seeing your team do well? What really caught your interest about that particular job or company?
“Enthusiasm is everything. It can be off putting talking to someone who comes across like they’ve applied for the job just for the sake of it and is just going through the motions of their application, so if they’re intrigued to find out more about the company, role, career prospects etc, this really helps.”
Tailor your CV
Before sending your CV off to apply for a job, compare it with the job specification, matching your qualifications and experience. This is very important as some roles require a minimum amount of experience or a specific qualification to be considered. Also make sure you only include information that is relevant to the role. If you’ve achieved a number of accomplishments in the past, select the most relevant to the role you are applying for.
“It’s good to write about some achievements and accomplishments as they always provide a good talking point in interviews. For me, hobbies and interests give a good insight into what a prospective candidate is actually about. Take time to think about what you write in this section as it generally acts as an ice breaker if and when you get called for an interview.”
Keep your LinkedIn up to date
LinkedIn is a great opportunity to show off what you’re like professionally. By keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date, if a potential employer or recruiter were to come across your profile, be it from mutual connections or simply a search for professionals, you enhance your chances of being contacted. Your LinkedIn profile is like an online version of your CV.
"Their knowledge of the industry, our organisation and candidates is one of the leaders in the market. They have always been able to supply us with the right calibre of engineering candidate no matter what the discipline or regional location is.
"First Recruitment Group’s service delivery has always been to a high standard and the customer service provided by the team has ensured that First Recruitment Group will remain a preferred supplier of engineering personnel to WorleyParsons on our future engineering projects."
"In my dealings with First I have found them to be responsive, knowledgeable, quality-focused and engaging in their approach. I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of First Recruitment Group to any prospective customers."
Global Engineering Consultancy
"We have a good working relationship with First Recruitment and they always put every effort in to filling our positions whether it's on a permanent or contract basis. First have an honest and open approach to recruitment and their clients which is refreshing. First offer an excellent payroll service which compliments their overall delivery service to MWH Treatment."
“As the biggest services supplier to the nuclear industry our demand for personnel is significant, when I have an urgent requirement I know I can rely on First Recruitment to rise to the challenge.
“As a preferred supplier for temporary labour and a fundamental part of our permanent recruitment process we get the right people at the right time. Whether its highly technical/specialist resources or back office support personnel the approach is to the same high standard.”
Veolia Nuclear Solutions
"It’s great to work with a recruitment agency we trust. The team at First Recruitment Group are friendly and straight talking and they continue to provide an excellent service. We’re proud to still be working with them after 20 years."
Simon Carves Engineering Ltd
"First Recruitment are on the 1st Tier of Sweett Europe’s preferred supplier list. We have found First recruitment to be hugely supportive and value adding partners to Sweett, helping us source a wide range of roles. The consultants at First are hugely knowledgeable and have a real desire to listen to, and understand, our needs. They have shown an unrivalled desire to work on hard to fill roles using innovative methods to ensure they always supply us with CVs.
"I have been hugely impressed by their willingness to support us, even when we have simply been after guidance which would not attract them a fee. I would be more than happy to recommend First Recruitment Group to any prospective organisation, and to discuss in more detail their capabilities."
“We’ve worked with First Recruitment for over 12 years and have built up a great relationship with their team. They’ve helped us in sourcing contractors for our chemical division, maintaining consistently high standards in delivery, and we hope to continue building on this relationship in the future. I have no hesitation in recommending First to others.”
Haden Freeman Limited
"We have used First Recruitment to support the recruitment of several key roles within our business. The quality of the candidates put forward were extremely high which helped enormously in our ability to fill all roles, also the candidates have all been a success since joining our business. They were prompt, knowledgeable and very professional and made the recruitment process for us extremely simple. The service we have received has been first class and I would highly recommend the services of First Recruitment to any Company looking to fill a vacancy."
Meadow Vale Food Group
“I have worked with First Recruitment frequently over the last couple of years. Their ability to understand our business and support me in terms of recruitment has been excellent. Candidates are screened initially to meet our requirements and taken through the process in a professional way. I would have no hesitation in recommending First Recruitment to any employer who needs that little extra support in their recruitment process."
Bokomo Foods (UK) Limited
“I have found First Recruitment to be very efficient and professional in their approach to recruitment. They were able to gain an in depth understanding of the needs of our business and source high quality candidates. I would highly recommend their services to anyone with a recruitment need.”
"First Group are one of the key suppliers to Cobham. The team are quick to respond, friendly and professional, and as such have made a massive difference to the account. The team have supported and filled a variety of roles. Without hestitation I would recommend First."