How Do You Distinguish Yourself From Those Other Hundred Applicants?


You want to excel when you go on a job interview. But how do you do that when all those other applicants have exactly the same goal? Everyone tries to make their resume as unique as possible so that all qualities come out optimally. With these eight tips you can read how you can distinguish yourself as a starter on the labor market.

Know your qualities and your pitfalls

The most important thing in any choice in your life is that you know yourself. Know your interests and qualities, but also know your pitfalls. Find out what you enjoyed most during your studies and any internships and what you found difficult and annoying. Consider why. Ask friends and family what you're good at or what you aren't good at.

Develop your competences

If you don't know exactly what your pitfalls and qualities are, take the competence test available for free on the internet. You may find that you've not yet developed certain competencies properly. You may be able to try to develop it through an (extra) internship or a traineeship. The better you know who you're and what you can give your employer, the easier it's to convince an employer that you should get that job.

Check which (work) experiences match the vacancy

If you apply, others with the same study background will do the same. It's therefore important to have other activities on your resume in addition to your education that distinguish you from others. Consider, for example, a side job that links up with your studies. These can also be aspects of that part-time job. You can put that under relevant work experience on your resume.

Choose activities that suit you

Attend career events of companies where you may want to work. This way you show that you're interested in that company. You can also schedule a more general activity such as a meet-and-greet for networking. Volunteering is also a good way to gain experience and to show that you would like to work somewhere and that you would like to roll up your sleeves without pay.

Be honest in your resume and cover letter

When you're making your resume and cover letter for the umpteenth time, you probably tend to exaggerate your qualities a bit. You may exaggerate, but never lie. But also remember: your resume and cover letter are most unique if you stay close to yourself. This makes it easier to argue for them once at the job interview.

Update your resume and cover letter over and over again

Moreover, for both the resume and the motivation letter: create a new one for each vacancy. Don't send the same version ten times. Every job is different and every employer requires different knowledge and skills. Always try to put yourself in the shoes of the employer.

Use examples in your motivation letter

Because your motivation letter is an extension of your resume, it offers the perfect opportunity to present yourself as a unique employee. You do this by highlighting the requirements from the vacancy text that best suit your knowledge and skills. Examples are a means to distinguish yourself while writing. An employer is more likely to be moved by a unique, appealing anecdote than by a number of dry facts.

Bonus tips

  • Make a short video of yourself and send it along with your application.
  • Do something that stands out. For example, deliver your letter and resume personally (if possible of course), ask for the recruiter and blame them personally. You bet that the recruiter will not forget you. Now with corona that's a bit difficult of course.
  • A well-organized resume with a clear thread is very important. Recruiters view many resumes one after the other, which are also similar in content. The resume that looks good and reads the best quickly stands out. So only describe relevant work experience.
  • Invite the recruiter on LinkedIn. Make sure that there are no other things in your LinkedIn profile than in your application. Add a fun and enthusiastic message that suits you. Something like: 'I just applied for (..) It seems like a fantastic position and I hope we can get to know more.'

If you follow all these tips, it can't be otherwise or you'll soon be awarded the contract for your first starter job! Good luck!

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