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Beginners in Business: How To Stand Out As A Candidate

How To Stand Out As A Candidate

The world of business is tough. The job market is becoming more and more competitive with more and more candidates vying for a limited number of positions and opportunities. It has never been more important to work to set yourself apart as a valuable candidate.

There are several ways in which you can set yourself up to be a highly considered option for hiring or promotion. It could be completing a course like a Masters in Project Management online, increasing your knowledge about a position or company or developing yourself personally to engage with recruiters. In this article, we’ll discuss 6 top tips for getting yourself noticed in the competitive business market.

1. Do Some Homework

“So, what do you know about us?” is a common interview question and although it may not be your favourite question to answer it does provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate what you know about the position and the company to which you are applying.

Candidates who know the role, the company and the expectations are often considered more highly than those who face the application process with generic knowledge. Do some research on the position, the business and the recruiters in order to set yourself up as a top candidate from the very start. Tailoring your CV and cover letter for each position also makes a huge difference when there may be a large number of people applying for the position.

2. Sell Yourself

“Why Should We Hire You?” is another common question in interviews. It’s one that everyone expects and yet far too many people aren’t prepared enough to answer it, often answering with generic responses about the role that offer nothing to the recruiter.

The openness of this question presents a perfect opportunity to set yourself apart and highlight one or two key areas that are your speciality. Focusing on your unique skills and talents presents you as an individual and as a candidate that is distinctly different from other applicants.

3. Follow Up

Sending a comprehensive follow-up initiates another point of contact between yourself and the recruiter. Dr Jeffrey Lant states that to ‘make a sale’ in business you need seven points of contact. If you’re working to sell yourself then this also applies to the job application process.

Following up after the interview also allows you to show further interest in the position and demonstrate your excitement at the opportunity. Many people include work samples or more information pertaining to something that was mentioned in the interview.

4. Showcase Your Other Skills

The nature of the recruitment beast can be limiting for both recruiters and candidates. Utilising your skills as part of the application process or finding a creative way to demonstrate how they would add value to the organisation can put you ahead of other candidates.

You may think you have skills and knowledge that are irrelevant to the specific role for which you are applying, but a switched-on recruiter can always see the value in bringing a new skill set into their organisation.

5. Demonstrate A Growth Mindset

Many recruiters use the application and interviewing process to look beyond the specifics of a role and dig deeper to identify the ‘soft skills’ of potential candidates. One that many companies are looking for these days is a Growth Mindset. It’s a bit of a buzzword in many industries but it means that you are open to challenges and have a belief that your skills and aptitudes aren’t set in stone. A candidate that demonstrates a Growth Mindset rather than a Fixed Mindset presents themselves as someone who faces challenges in a positive way and is able to overcome setbacks. A Growth Mindset also demonstrates an ability to adapt to a new work environment and a new role.

6. Get Qualified

There are many positions for which a particular qualification is a prerequisite to gaining work in that industry. It can be assumed therefore that all applicants hold these minimum qualifications. But there are several postgraduate courses and degrees, such as a Masters in Project Management that provide you with valuable skills that are useful in many roles and industries. Undertaking such a course is something to consider if you’re looking to set yourself apart from other candidates.

Be Prepared

The job market is tough, particularly in the world of big business. If you’re looking to set yourself apart make sure you take the time to prepare yourself for the process, take these tips on board and put your best foot forward when chasing down those opportunities.


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