In recent months, finding a job has become increasingly competitive. So, how to get hired and beat all competition?

The key lies in really standing out in the pool of applicants. 👀

We pulled together our best advice for standing out when applying for a job. And you don’t just have to take our word for it. We also asked a top recruiter for pointers. 

The cherry on top? 🍒 A real-life example of a job seeker that really stood out and got hired, beating all competition.

how to get hired: stand out from the crowdBest tip for how to get hired: stand out from the crowd – Image source

But first, a quick look at some data. Just in case you’re not convinced that standing out is important these days. 😉

Why it’s important to stand out when applying for jobs in 2020

In case you haven’t noticed, unemployment numbers have been growing across the world in the last few months. 

Unemployment across the European Union is expected to rise to 9% in 2020. That’s nearly a 3% increase as compared to the 6.5% recorded in February 2020. And don’t even get us going on the US unemployment numbers

Based on our data, we see that so far, not all job markets have taken a hit when it comes to numbers of job openings. It may just be that MeetFrank is growing in popularity among recruiters in those countries. 💪 Or perhaps there is a lag and job openings will start to decrease later this year.

At the same time, it is clear that there are more and more people actively looking for new employment opportunities. 

For example, in Estonia, Finland and Lithuania, the number of active job seekers numbers has increased by 15%, 18.5% and 11.5% respectively. 📈

active job seekers

How to get hired: stand out even before you apply

Yes, you can stand out even before sending in your application. Here’s how! 🏆

1. Get referred 📣
Personal recommendations go a long way these days. A warm referral from a team member or otherwise trusted contact is a surefire way to stand out in the pool of applicants. 🔥

Here’s how: Do you know anyone who works at the company that can recommend you? Do you have any other connections to key people at the firm? If so, don’t be shy to ask for a personal mention to the recruiter.

2. Get noticed 📯
Sometimes, you just have to toot your own horn. In fact, building a personal brand in your specialty will be the best investment for standing out as an applicant. It will be good for you now and long-term, as you’ll be getting job offers even before you need to start looking. 👀

Toot your own horn (or saxophone) at and get noticed – Image source

Here’s how: If you’re a creative, put together a public portfolio of your best work. If you’re a software developer, build something that works! If you’re any other professional, start being vocal about key topics in your specialty on LinkedIn. Start a podcast! Sky’s the limit!

3. Polish your profile 💅
This can seem like basic hygiene, but you’d be surprised how many fail to keep their professional profiles up to date and immaculate. Whether it’s a CV or a LinkedIn profile that you need to submit, make sure it is up to date and on point. 🎯

Here’s how: Make sure you’ve covered all recent and relevant experience on your profile. Highlight your achievements—what did you actually get done and bring to the table in your previous roles. Don’t forget to double-check the grammar!

Don’t forget to spell-check your CV or profile – Image source

⭐️Advice from a recruiter ⭐️ Scoro is a company that attracts a lot of applications whenever they post a job opening on MeetFrank. So, we asked their recruiter Stina for some advice for how to get hired when you’re competing with a lot of applicants.

Here’s what she said about polishing your profile: “Keep the CV short, clear, and elegant, but point out what were your main responsibilities at each position.”

recruiter advice to get hired

Stina also highlights the importance of proper grammar: “Make sure your CV and cover letter are grammatically correct. Use Grammarly or other tools to check the wording and read the text many times. If you don’t have an eye for detail, ask someone else.”

4. Do your research 🧐
Before applying, take your time to research everything you can about the company. What is the company you’re applying to all about? Are you actually a good fit for the company? After all, you are unlikely to get hired if it’s not a good match. 🧩

research before applying for a jobBefore you apply, read about the company – Image source

Here’s how: Look through the key pages of their website. Read their blog. Do some Googling and see if you can find some coverage: recent press releases, interviews with the founders or C-level executives. Hearing the people who run the company talk can be super insightful!

🌟Pro tip: We know, the research can be time-consuming to the point of overwhelming. This is where the MeetFrank app comes in handy. MeetFrank only shows you job openings that are a good match with your profile, including your work-related preferences.

There’s even a small icon next to each company that shows how well you match! This will save you precious time on the job hunt. 😉

meetfrank recommended job profile matches

How to stand out during the application process

Next, let’s take a look at how you can stand out during the application process itself. This is your time to shine. 

5. Craft a killer application 🔥
All recruiters require you to send in an application in some shape or form. In some cases, it’s still the old school combination of CV and cover letter. Other companies have moved on to more modern solutions, like having a structured conversation via an app like MeetFrank. Make sure yours stands out! 🤩

Here’s how: Write up a sincere application, and consider adding something special to it—for a content marketing role, it may be a video, for a copywriter role a blog post, for a business role, a printed, bound, 10-page presentation on innovative ideas for the company.

custom website for job applicationAdd something special to your application, like a custom website – Image source

Sounds like too much? Well, if you are really gunning for that job, go the extra mile. Otherwise, a sleek CV or job profile on the platform of choice will do.

⭐️Real-life example ⭐️ Nicole Tan had never been to Estonia when she applied for a Marketing Manager role with Latitude59

Here’s her story in her own words: “Though I’d never been to Estonia, I had heard about it being a digital nation and always wanted to visit. When I saw that Latitude59 was looking for a marketing manager, I knew I had to jump on it!”

Nicole applied with a video that illustrated why she’s the right one for the job: “I decided to add a fun video to my application, and I felt that really helped me to stand out from other applicants. I got the job, came to Estonia and I’m still here!”

create a unique application to get hiredSee Nicole’s video application on YouTube

6. Reverse-engineer the content 👩‍💻
You probably have more experiences and knowledge than any form of application can show. So, we recommend that you reverse-engineer the content of your application based on the job description. 👷

Here’s how: Read through the job description and see what experience, knowledge and skills they are looking for. Then think about which of your past experiences would work best to highlight that you are the future employee that they are looking for!

Obviously, don’t just come up with stuff, but rather be really on point regarding which experiences to really call attention to.

7. Spell out why you are a good fit for the company 🗣
Once you’ve made sure your application fits the role, find a way to make it clear how you are a good culture fit. 👥

Here’s how: Find out what the company stands for. Whether it’s values, mission, or something else, find something that resonates with you. And find a way to weave that into your application, either as something you care about or as something you are interested in.

🌟 Pro tip: if you don’t find anything, take a moment to consider if you’re sure you want to spend the majority of your waking hours with this company.

How to stand out at the interview stage and beyond

You’ve made it to the interview pool? Congratulations! 👏Let’s review how you can stand out in this round and after the interviews.

Dress nicely for the interview – Image source

8. Nail the first impression thing 🥇
You can only make a first impression once, and it plays a key role in your interview. So make yours a good one. 🕺

Here’s how: Take care of the basics, of course—dress appropriately, arrive on time, have a good handshake, and don’t forget to smile. Go easy on the cologne or perfume, just in case. Mind your body language as well—don’t slump, don’t cross your arms or fidget with them.

Is your interview online? See how to nail your online interview.

⭐️Advice from a recruiter ⭐️ Stina from Scoro says a sparkle in your eyes will help you stand out: “If you truly want to join the company, make sure everyone else feels it as well. It’s wonderful to see the motivation and sparkle in the candidate’s eyes during the interview.”

recruiter advice for interviews

9. Come prepared with great answers (and questions, too!) 😎
You know the drill. Most interviews are set up in the same way, with similar questions. After all, the goal is the same, to get to know you and whether you are a good fit for the role and the company. That means you can come prepared! 💡

Here’s how: Come up with answers for the typical questions like ”Tell me about yourself!” and “Why are you interested in this position?”. Use the job description as a handy cheat sheet for what you need to highlight when you’re preparing the answers. Additionally, prepare a few genuine and thoughtful questions like “Can you give an example of a time when your team came together to solve a tough problem?”.

Don’t talk about benefits during the first interview – Image source

🌟 Pro tip: Avoid questions about benefits and time off. These questions should come later.

10. Follow up with a “thank you” 💌

Depending on where you’re from, a follow-up note may or may not be a common practice. Either way, it’s a polite thing to do and helps them remember you well. 🦄

Here’s how: The day after the interview (or Monday if your interview was on Friday), type up a short and sweet email, thanking the interviewer for their time and reaffirming your interest in the role. If there was any part of the discussion you found to be especially interesting, make sure to mention it as well!

follow up with a thank you noteA hand-written letter can make you stand out – Image source

🌟 Pro tip: To really stand out, send the “thank you” as a hand-written note! If this feels like too much for whatever reason (cultural or contextual), go with an email.

Now that you know how to stand out, download the MeetFrank app and get hired for your next job. Good luck! 🍀