Thinking about how you can stand out from the crowd as the business support candidate of choice? Whatever job you’re going for in the industry, there are things you can do to stand out throughout the recruitment process.

With competition rife for contract and permanent positions within administration and business support, take a look at our six tips to shine!

Prepare a professional CV

When sending out applications for business support positions, it can be easy to make simple mistakes such as writing the wrong position or company on a cover letter or making grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. These errors may seem small to you, but employers receiving dozens of applications will overlook your application immediately if there are mistakes in your CV or cover letter.

Make a positive impression from the outset by submitting a comprehensive, well written CV. In the job you’re going for, you’ll be depended on for your ability to be articulate and professional, with strong written communication skills. Approach your CV as you would an administrative task with a critical eye and attention to detail.

Come up with questions about the role

Stand out from the competition at interview, by considering some questions that will help you fully understand the role. Which teams will I interact with? Is there opportunity to project manage or lead on initiatives within the business? Devising some simple questions will display your interest in the role and in turn, pique your future employer’s interest.

Emphasise your experience

Make sure your vital skills and experience aren’t hidden away on your CV so employers can find this information straight away! Clearly highlight them by using bullet points rather than lengthy paragraphs to present this information. As well as essential skills outlined in the job, highlight any additional experience you have and link this to the role, for example previous experience working within the sector, or any achievements you accomplished at a previous company.

Research the role

It’s easy to fall into the trap of adopting the ‘blanket’ approach - applying for multiple positions with the same CV. You might think it will provide you with more employment options but in reality, no role is the same and you’re missing out on demonstrating you possess the key capabilities an employer is looking for.

When starting out in a business support career, personality is just as important as skill set to hiring managers.

The application process can be time-consuming, but it’s much easier to prove your suitability for a role when you understand the company and the key responsibilities of the position. Sometimes this just requires a simple adjustment to your template CV to highlight your experience in a particular area, for example possessing previous customer service experience, knowledge of a specific piece of software or even having a full driving license.

Demonstrate your people skills

When starting out in a business support career, personality is just as important as skill set to hiring managers. Of course, you need to be able to talk through your experiences articulately, but also show you’re approachable and flexible, with an ability to build positive working relationships with your work colleagues.

A firm handshake, personable attitude and open body language shows your future employer that you’re personable and able to integrate seamlessly into a new working environment. Confidence is key!

Don’t just let your CV do the talking

Instead of playing the waiting game, why not follow up with a phone call to check if your application has been received? Similarly, thanking people for their time after an interview shows you’re attentive, professional and enthusiastic about the opportunity.

Hiring managers are also likely to remember applicants who go beyond what’s expected in the recruitment process. So if you’ve been given any feedback during the initial screening process, be proactive and prove you’ve taken steps to address this. For instance, if it’s agreed that your presentation skills or knowledge of a particular software needs work, practise in preparation to thrive in the next stage of the process.

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