5 proven ways to make your job application POP

5 proven ways to make your job application POP

The job market is tough. A single role can bring in as many as 250 applications. And, often, Recruiters and Hiring Managers are working on multiple roles at a time. This means that in order to stand out, you need to be prepared to STAND OUT. Here are 5 ways you can make your job application pop every time.

1. Do your homework – know what you’re applying for

Make sure that before you even start typing up your application email, you’ve done as much research as you’re physically capable of doing. If you just have the information available in the job advert, make sure you know it inside and out. If there are skills listed in the requirements that you do not yet have, this is the time to look into ways to bridge that gap so that you can point this out in your application.

On the other hand, if you have the name of the company, or are applying directly to a company, research as much as you can. You should know as much as is possible to know about the company well before you send in your application. This doesn’t just protect you from applying somewhere that’s at odds with your values, wants, and needs. It also provides you with a solid knowledge base to complete the rest of your job application.

2. Have a winning CV & cover letter

As important as your application email is – and we’ll get to that in a bit – your CV and cover letter are the true first impression you make. You want it to sell what you would bring to the role you’re applying for. Make sure your CV is up to date and make sure you’re spotlighting any skills and requirements that pertain to the job description. Make sure your CV is eye-catching and that the design is relevant to the role or industry. For instance, if you’re applying for a Graphic Designer role, you want to make sure that your CV is visually interesting and highlights your creativity. In the same vein, that CV would be too much if you were applying for a role in the legal industry.

Make sure your cover letter follows similar guidelines (see our previous post on cover letters). If you’re not sure of where to start, there are plenty of examples online. You could also use an AI tool like ChatGPT, ask it to write a cover letter, and then just customise it to your needs. It’s important in both cases to make sure you’re updating it with info relevant to you and to the application. While having a base to work with and edit is helpful, it becomes very obvious when it’s not actually you motivating the content in your job application.

3. Customise your job application

As much as you should be reviewing how to customise and tailor your CV and cover letter per job application, you should also be reviewing the message you send with it. Recruiters and Hiring Managers can see when applicants are using a generic message for every application. Without you necessarily meaning to, it communicates that you’re not that interested in the role.

Take some time to take what you know about the role and how your skills fit into it and mention it in your initial email. You want to make sure that you’re showing the person reading your email that you’re genuinely interested in and serious about the role.

4. Identify what makes you unique and market it in your job application

There’s only one person with your exact skillset, experience, and passions. This makes you a unique and interesting candidate, whether you believe it or not. You just need to know what it is that sets you apart and lean into it in your job application. This doesn’t mean you have to be someone completely original and outside-of-the-box. Many people might be trilingual, so this isn’t necessarily a one-of-a-kind trait. But being trilingual complete with your certification in customer service and experience in an international call centre? Suddenly your application becomes a lot more interesting for that international customer success associate role.

When looking at what sets you apart, keep this checklist in mind:

  • What’s relevant to the role?
  • How do your background and experiences overlap with the role requirements?
  • What are your most popular personality traits?
  • Where do your personal interests intersect with the role requirements?

By identifying these, you can put together a job application that highlights your unique combination of qualities and experience every time.

5. Know your why and highlight it in your job application

Why are you applying for this role in particular? Is it because you’re looking for something similar to what you’re doing now but in a different geographic location? Are you passionate about the industry you’re applying for? Are you wanting to try something completely different from what you were doing before? These are all important things to highlight in your job application.

The employer ultimately wants to get to know you, the human being who would be working with their team day after day. By sharing some of why you’re applying straight off the bat, you provide some insights into your personality and who you are as a person, which makes you stand out in the process.


There’s no 100% right or wrong way to complete a job application. Make sure you’re covering the basics, and ensure that every application you complete is tailored to the role you’re applying for. By following the steps above, you should have a job application that grabs attention and holds it every time.