How to Make Yourself Stand Out


Everyone knows that standing out from the crowd is important when looking for employment, particularly at the graduate level. What’s less clear is what ‘standing out’ actually means. We asked three of our Recruitment Consultants to share what they think are the best ways to get noticed in today’s competitive job market.

Conor Sloan: There are loads of things that stand out to me as things NOT to put on a CV or profile. Over-using adjectives like ‘passionate’, ‘strong’, and ‘bright’ is a big one that I see all the time – instead, let your experience and skills speak for themselves wherever possible.

It’s always great when I can see evidence of past work – whether done as part of your course or otherwise. Mentioning an interesting final-year project or saying that you designed your own app in your spare time is fantastic – and providing a link of some kind so that I (as well as any potential employers) can actually see what you’ve done is even better.

When going through job boards, it’s a real bonus when I see a sentence or two at the very top describing exactly what a candidate is looking for in their next role. ‘Looking for opportunities’ doesn’t really tell me a whole lot – on the other hand, specific information about what your skills are and how you’d like to apply them going forwards will make you jump off the page to the right people. It’ll also minimise the number of phone calls you get from recruiters about roles that aren’t actually right for you – which is always a plus!

Ruby Mulvaney: There are definitely a few things I always look out for. For one – and this is really basic, but you’d be surprised how often it’s an issue – make sure you’re using correct grammar and spelling, and that your writing reads well.

Seeing a poorly constructed profile or CV puts a major dampener on things, and it can be really difficult to look past the mistakes and see the positives sometimes.

For recently or soon-to-be graduated candidates looking for their first job, I love seeing part time work or volunteer experience. Any examples of independent learning are great too. Whether you’ve tried to learn a new language, have some kind of external qualification, or you’ve simply done some independent study on a topic other than your degree, these sorts of things always really impress me.

Anything that shows that you’re not resting on your laurels and that you’re constantly trying to further your knowledge will really make you stand out to me – and to employers.

John Davies: For me, the biggest thing is being able to see that the person has done something beyond just what is absolutely necessary for their degree or previous jobs. In particular when looking at graduate candidates for technical roles, I’m always looking for some evidence that the person can work well in a variety of environments, in different capacities, with different people.

Having the right skills, qualifications and experience is obviously crucial. But in a market that’s getting more competitive by the day, there will usually be someone with a similar skill profile to you applying to the same job. Personally, whenever I see that someone has done some travelling, volunteer work, or been a major part of something outside of university, I’m more likely to have a good feeling about them before I’ve even picked up the phone.

What do you think are the best ways to stand out to employers?

Saragossa are a talent provider specialising in the Financial Technology and Data Science sectors. Our role is to match clients with high calibre candidates. Our work encompasses filling temporary contracts along with building permanent teams and resourcing projects. To find out more, please contact or call 020 7871 3666.