Did you know that according to Forbes, an average of 118 applications are received for every job? This means that to succeed, you’ll need to beat 117 others to the finish line. This may seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you’re not very good at singing your own praises. The numbers may be scary, but there’s no reason why you can’t be the successful candidate. If you’re keen to be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons and stand out from the crowd, look no further.

Learning to sell yourself on paper

Most people apply for jobs by sending in a CV or filling out a form with responses to questions. In the majority of cases, employers will discard a heap of papers and forget about those applications before they create a shortlist for interview. This means that you need to be able to impress on paper. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get a chance to meet a panel and showcase your sparkling personality, so don’t put all your effort into honing your interview skills. Focus on creating a CV that sells you, emphasises your strengths and catches the eye of potential employers. Make sure every scrap of information on that piece of paper is relevant, and it serves a purpose. Tailor your CV to every application and consult the job description to ensure that your CV matches the requirements. Be concise and take the exercise seriously.

Taking steps to be a better candidate

If you find that you’re applying for jobs, but you’re not getting anywhere because other people have got more experience or better qualifications, it’s worth taking steps to make yourself a better candidate. Look into programmes that are available and consider signing up for courses run by companies like Training Connection. Undertaking further study and devoting time to professional and personal development will help you shine in more ways than one. You’ll have additional skills, but you’ll also be demonstrating a willingness to learn and a passion for the industry in which you’d like to work.

Excelling in interviews

If you get to the interview stage, this is your chance to really show off your personality and demonstrate exactly what you can bring to the table. If you’ve been asked to prepare a presentation or answer questions, be original, be engaging and don’t produce something every other candidate will. Use different types of media, produce a captivating handout or do something different like making a video clip, a digital advert or even a jingle. You want the panel to remember you long after the final candidate has left the room. Be passionate, be confident and believe in yourself. Listen to the questions, think about your responses, and interact with the people in front of you.

If you’re competing for a job, you need to be able to stand out. If you blend in, there’s nothing to make that panel choose you. Work on selling yourself on paper and developing your interview skills and invest in yourself. If you’re confident that you’re the best candidate you can be, there’s every chance that you’ll be able to persuade an employer to adopt the same viewpoint.