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So you’ve cleared the CV hurdle, passed that competency test, and now you’re on the final interview stretch.

But guess what. There are a handful of highly-skilled candidates right there beside you. To give them the slip, and convince your employer you’re the right choice, you might have to get a little creative.

Volunteer

If you find yourself with some spare time, say when you’re out of work, volunteering and job placements are a great way to keep busy, learn, and hone your skills.

If you’re a graduate, pick up invaluable experience at a work placement. Got digital skills? Help a small business build its website. In sales? Help out at your local charity shop. Giving up your free time won’t just make you feel good, it’ll look great on your LinkedIn page or CV. Try websites such as Ivo – volunteer opportunities.

Tilt your head

Sometimes we focus so much on a particular job in a specific industry that we miss out on opportunities just around the corner.

A marketer might find a better job by moving from a company to an agency. A call centre worker might discover their gift of the gab is perfect for organising corporate events. And nursery teachers can move to secondary schools with Simply Education – supply teacher jobs. By shifting your gaze just a little, you might just find a better career match.

Post on social media

No, not those night-out selfies, but blog posts related to your industry. If you’re not confident writing a blog, simply liking or commenting on a useful article you come across shows you have an opinion. And the insights you glean from influencer posts will give you extra ammo for that final interview.   

Widen your search

If job searches in your hometown aren’t bringing up results, try searching for ‘remote’ and ‘mobile’ roles, and you might find opportunities other candidates miss. Many businesses now see the benefits of attracting talent from around the world. With social media and real-time business software, you can connect and collaborate wherever you put down your mug of coffee. Some businesses even use virtual and augmented reality to connect with colleagues.

Avoid jargon

‘Communications modalities.’ ‘Vertical integration.’ ‘Strategic staircase.’ Companies and recruiters love to use business jargon. It makes them feel professional, but only adds complexity to simple ideas.

Before you go for your interview, go through your job spec and translate any tough-talk terms into plain English. It’ll help you understand what your potential employer is really looking for, and help you master your subject. You can even ask your interviewer what a convoluted phrase means. (You might even trip them up.)

Ask questions

We spend so much time fretting about job interviews that we forget it’s a two-way process. If you’re good enough (which you are, obviously), employers should convince you about the career on offer.

But don’t leave questions to end. Ask throughout the interview and you’ll show your keenness and stand out from other candidates. And by inquiring about the company’s ambitions, office environment and opportunities for personal development, you’ll find out if it’s the right job for you.

With so many talented people competing for the same job, following just one of these tips might be enough to take you over the finishing line.

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