Consult Recruitment NZ > Career  > Top Tips to Make Your Job Application Stand Out in a Recession

Top Tips to Make Your Job Application Stand Out in a Recession

It’s a crowded market for job applications. In some sectors, there are 600 applicants within three hours of a job advertisement being posted. As a result, employers (and some recruiters) are struggling to keep up.

If you are applying for a job right now, you need to make sure you stand out. Here are some of our top tips to help you get on the long list!

Make your application count

Right now, chances are you’ll be automatically declined if it seems like you have done the following:

We’ve written heaps about getting your resume and application in order. It’s up to you to make it count.

Apply for roles that you have experience in or are relevant for your skills.

Now is not the time to be able to easily change careers, as most employers need people with the experience to get the job done. So, if a career change is in your plans – just put them on hold a bit longer and concentrate on using your current skills and experience to get to the top of the application pile.

A good rule of thumb is to pretend you are the employer and ask yourself why they would hire you. What is it about you that is better than anyone else? Most people can say they are nice, ambitious and will do anything, so very quickly in this market it will come back to your core skills and experience which counts for most.

Don’t apply for every role a company advertises.

Some people think it is better to apply for everything. I can tell you from experience that there is nothing more annoying than having one candidate apply to the 20 open jobs that are advertised. There is no way you will be the most attractive candidate for every role from an Accounts Clerk to a CFO, so you shouldn’t apply for them all!  

Speak to the job in your application.

Make sure you really understand the job and what the employer is seeking. Do your research and understand the organisation. When you do apply, read over your resume and cover letter with the company and the job in mind. If it helps, get a friend to review your application as they are a little more impartial than you. 

Make sure you’re appealing to the vacancy and the organisation when you apply. For example, if you are applying to work in an organisation that is all about manufacturing organic products, then you should be pulling out the relevant experience (and passion) that you have for that business sector. Just randomly applying for any role and any company means you don’t really care about them – you just want a job. If this is the case – the likelihood of you getting the job is pretty low.

Get your (social media) house in order!

Too many people forget that employers and recruitment agencies will be checking online profiles before they even think about calling you. Recent studies show that 70% of employers screen applicants via social media (deep intake of breath for some!!) Make sure you do a social media audit on yourself and ensure you’re managing your social media effectively.  

Work with decent agencies.

We are currently seeing employers being swamped with job applicants and they are seeking refuge with agencies. Often good agencies will already have a pool of talent and won’t need to advertise, so the employer is able to hire more quickly, have less drama doing so and won’t have to worry about the brand damage associated with not responding to applicants directly.

It is well worth your time to invest in getting to know your favourite recruitment agency – they can get people to the front of the queue.

2 degrees of separation.

Applying for jobs on a job board right now is like buying a lotto ticket in a powerball jackpot – you’ve got a chance, but the more people that hear about it, the less likely you are to win. So, what’s your angle? Is there a different way to make the connection? Some simple examples: call the person recruiting the role and ask them good questions about the role to make a good impression. What about mutual connections or people that may work in the organisation – check in with them for feedback (and hopefully a friendly introduction to the Hiring Manager). Check in with your favourite recruiter to see if they have a strong relationship with the employer. 

We know it’s a tough time for many in the job search right now. How you apply is crucial to making it to the next round – so make sure your application counts! For more information or help, please get in touch with the Consult team!

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

No Comments

Leave a reply

Scam Alert: We have been made aware of an increased number of scammers on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp posing as Consult Recruitment employees. We will never contact you on these platforms about job opportunities. Please do not respond to anyone who does, and inform us at

Scam Alert: Beware of scammers on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp posing as Consult Recruitment employees. If you're contacted on these platforms about job opportunities, please don’t reply and inform us here.