In many industries and professions, competition for jobs continues to intensify.
What, then, can you do to stand out from the crowd? How can you show that you are prepared to go the extra mile – that you both want and deserve the job more than your rivals? Here are some ideas about how to do just that…
First things first you need a good CV
A good CV is absolutely vital to getting you noticed in the first instance. Always remember that it has one purpose: to help you get that all important interview.
You don’t have much time to impress with your CV – employers tend to scan rather than read them – so it must generate interest but be succinct and to-the-point. Crucially, it needs to show that you have what it takes to be successful in your chosen career.
The best CVs are typically made up of education and work experience. You also need to think about out-of-work activities that make you stand out.
What makes you different?
Don’t just list your hobbies, highlight achievements outside work and expand on them rather than using broad, throw-away statements. For example, say you ‘climbed to K2 base camp’, rather than ‘enjoy mountain climbing’. Or, ‘elected as social secretary of Thames Rowing Club’, rather than ‘enjoy rowing’.
What should you include in the education section?
Employers like to see your A-level results (or equivalent), including subjects and grades, your degree and your accountancy qualification. If you gained first time passes, distinctions or awards, be sure to highlight these.
What should you include in the work experience section?
You need to talk about the experience that makes you stand out. You are competing for the top roles with other candidates from very similar work backgrounds. What have you done that shows initiative or flexibility? For example, have you worked on special projects for a client rather than just ‘vanilla’ audit? If so, describe the extra responsibility you had, what you have learned and the extra skills developed.
For more career advice please contact:
Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager (South Africa)
+27 (0)11 881 2414