With so many people applying for the same job these days, you really have to stand out from the crowd to have a chance of getting that dream job. Understanding how to shine above your competition is essential to getting the job. Having a good resume, cover letter and portfolio, as well as presenting yourself professionally and doing some research on the job offer and company can help incredibly in getting you the job. So, let’s have a look at a number of ways you can achieve this:

Resume

This is one of the most important things in applying for a job. Without a first rate application, you aren’t even going to get an interview. The purpose of a resume is to sell yourself to a prospective employer in a matter of minutes. How your resume is presented as well as the content is very important. If it does not look well set out, the employer or recruiter is unlikely to even read the content. If he or she does read it, make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes as that is an indication of a sloppy worker. The resume needs to be concise and clearly laid out stating what you have achieved, what your skills are, your length of experience and what your goals are in terms of career development and should not exceed three pages. Depending on the job, you may be able to add a little interest to your resume by showing it as a video or using your skills to present it, rather than a bland resume like everyone else. In a creative industry, it is important to do something that pops out. Tailor makes every resume to the specific job you are applying for.

Cover Letter

Not everyone does a cover letter, but every little thing helps, so make sure you do. A good cover letter will encourage a prospective employer or recruiter to read your resume. It should be only one page in length and should be tailor made to fit the job you are applying for. Quote the job you are going for, where you saw the position advertised and highlight the relevant experience and qualifications you have pertinent to the criteria for the role. If you haven’t got the required experience or qualifications, don’t bother applying for the position.

Portfolio

If, for example, a digital creative agency is looking for a web designer, they are likely to place an enormous reliance on the work contained within your portfolio. Place your best piece of work at the beginning of the portfolio and don’t put anything in that you are not proud of. This must be well presented. At the interview, talk passionately about your portfolio and point out your best work. Also, if you were part of a team involved in the project tell the interviewer as they value someone’s ability to work as part of a team.

Research

As they say, “knowledge is power”. Go on the Internet and find out as much as possible about the company and the people that will be interviewing you. For instance, is the company involved in any new projects? Also try to find out a bit more about the job and what involves. Use what you have found out when doing the research during the interview to show you have done your homework and present the skills that suit the job best.

Interview

You have done well to get an interview but this is now your opportunity to stand out further from the crowd. Arrive in plenty of time, turn your mobile phone off, dress smartly, have a firm handshake and smile when you meet the interviewer(s). You need to be able to communicate effectively at an interview and demonstrate a clear and concise understanding of the digital industry and, in particular, your specific area of expertise. You need to talk with enthusiasm about the role and come across as professional and personable. Don’t interrupt the interviewer but maintain eye contact.

Ask some relevant questions and make sure you know exactly what is detailed in your resume, as you may be asked questions about its content. Highlight the benefits you feel you can bring to the job and the company, putting emphasis on skills that relate to the job. Don’t be frightened to ask when you are likely to find out if you have been successful.

Follow Up

If the company has not been in touch by when they say they will, contact them – it shows you want the job. If possible, get any constructive feedback for future jobs if you are not hired. Your resume and portfolio got you the interview, you just need to know what didn’t work in regards to your interview. By following the above you will stand out from the competition.

RELATED: 4 Ways to Make Your Dream Employer Notice You

Author: Michael Ferretti is a freelance writer, blogger and a dedicated Marketing Manager working for Interactive Inc., a digital recruitment firm in Australia.

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