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Mass Unemployment: How to Make Your Application Stand Out from the Crowd

By Vahid Haghzare, Director Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment &

Victor Chen, Senior Recruiter, Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment 


One of the top IT Recruitment Agencies in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Japan, Singapore, and Dubai, SVA Recruitment is an IT employment agency that provides jobs, executive search, and recruitment services.


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, many countries around the world were shut down and forced under enhanced quarantine programs. This health crisis is affecting not only the health sector but also brings up socioeconomic problems as well. Now that it has been over two months already, people and businesses are facing many unknowns as they try to reopen and return employees to work.

We all know that employment opportunities remain shuttered, and companies are forced to operate at reduced levels. Amid this health and economic crisis, news regarding unemployment is appalling.

Getting a job has become more competitive than ever. Indeed, standing out from the crowd full of capable people is not an easy thing to do. However, your shine will not be dull if you follow some tips on how to make your application stand out from the crowd. This applies to most types of mass hiring activities, face-to-face or virtual.

Silicon Valley Associates Recruitment suggests to our Candidates the following steps on how to make your application stand out from the crowd.

Getting Determined and Prepared

Prepare yourself

Nothing is a good starter than being an early worm. Now is the time to get started and establish your career. This can be done through advanced research in the companies and industries you are interested in. The more prepared you are, the less pressure you feel.

One of the best steps to prepare yourself is to look over profiles (on LinkedIn, professional websites, or social media sites) of your peers in your current role, or people in the industry or company that you desire to be part of or even people who are working in the position you eventually want to reach. Note their skills, academic background, and experiences to know what areas you can focus on improving.

Enhance your skills and capabilities

Boosting skills significantly involves academic progress, experiences, and volunteer works. You can participate in various online and offline training for IT, where others can be freely studied or downloaded online. These additional experiences can be an edge over others, especially for those with equally qualified academic backgrounds like you.

To know what skills you want to focus on gaining, you can go back to your previous research on LinkedIn profiles. Get relevant skills that you want to prioritize and enhance.

Use self-assessment tools, and include that in your resume

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a crucial step in determining the field you want to be part of. You can take online assessments, such as the Career Cluster Interest Survey or the Big Five Personality Test that help you in self-assessing. Once you allow yourself to be assessed based on your capabilities and things needed to be improved, you can then determine the types of environments that will match your characteristics.

You can include highlights of your self-assessment results to your resume to help you stand out among the crowd. Doing so will help you to be easily remembered because not everyone does this. Recruiters will also really appreciate your initiative and will potentially keep you in their minds.


Image Credit: Psychology Junkie

Prepare a Self-Introduction (Audio or Video!) 

An elevator pitch is an excellent way to introduce yourself to someone you just met who might be a prospective recruiter or professional network. This brief introduction must ideally not more than 60 seconds and should highlight your unique selling point and communicate your personal brand. Your unique selling proposition and personal branding can be determined by discovering yourself and determining what others may want from you into one or two brief sentences.

To stand out from the crowd, you can create and record your elevator pitch introduction. You can upload them to your personal website and social media channels (e.g., YouTube, LinkedIn) to increase your online presence.


Image Credit: The Balance

Preparing Your CV


Optimize Your CV.

The unpopular belief that CVs are dead and employers or recruiters no longer read them is not true at all. SVA Recruitment Consultant Victor Chen, who has more than ten years of experience in the recruitment field, asserted that tailoring your CV is crucial for getting the hiring managers or recruiter’s attention.

Applicant’s resume/CV is screened in an average of 7 seconds, so you must make use of that limited window. Stand out by using appropriate keywords matching the Job Ad or Description to highlight your matching skills and experiences. Make it easy to find by placing it somewhere where it’s not lost amongst the text of the rest of your resume, or underline/highlight it. They look for facts and numbers. For example, your highest sales achievement, your finished websites, or the digital media tools you proficiently know how to use.

These materials must particularly deliver the specific role you want to impart in the company. This means that you should have more versions of your resume saved ahead instead of sending out the same version to all jobs, employers, and recruiters. Therefore, tailor your resumes based on the position you are applying to.

Demonstrate your skills in your CV through examples

These skills may come from various experiences gained through previous jobs, hobbies, and even personal lifestyles that are meaningful. State what the recruiter wants to hear about, provide evidence-based on your experience and highlight them in your CV. Use factual information, achievements, and numbers.

Choose the right design and template

You must choose the proper format for creating your application documents. There are many free and inexpensive resume templates out there that can aid you with this problem. SVA Recruitment offers professional and user-friendly templates and advice that enable you to customize your application details.

Different jobs require different designs. For instance, a web designer has to choose a template that displays his creativity for designs, including funky fonts, colors, graphics, and pictures. A Lawyer or Senior Manager is recommended to present a more formal, black, and white only resume. Your CV design speaks a lot for yourself and the position you are interested in.


Build Your Online Presence and Personal Brand


Image Credit: Medium

Maximize online presence and visual brand

Set up your own website and/or social media. With the advent of technology and the Internet, it is not surprising for us when employers or recruiters search us online. Even in this phase, you have to create an impression that you want to leave with your audience. For instance, if you wish to market yourself as a passionate social worker, you can post about your involvement with social and volunteer works on various social media. If you are an aspiring writer who wants to build a visual brand, you can create your own website or participate in multiple online platforms to showcase your skills and work. There are the Best Website Builders available online where you can freely create and build your own website platforms.

Make Use of LinkedIn and other professional networking tools

One of the most excellent venues to create an online resume and build professional networks is LinkedIn. Utilizing this online platform can be advantageous to you because it has many features to brand and social media marketers. You can establish your expertise through the LinkedIn content platform, interact with your community via brand pages and groups, and reach out to others via LinkedIn messaging. LinkedIn offers more opportunities for users to network every day than other social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Constantly update your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles because recruiters visit them. Make use of your social media accounts. Post and display things that you think recruiters will like to enhance your professional brand.

Start a Twitter and YouTube channel and monitor social media accounts

This is a vital step to stand out by making a robust online presence and personal brand. When recruiters search applicants online, these things will help you get on the top. Your posts help optimize your profile so recruiters can see your content. You can create content that illustrates what kind of an individual you are what skills you have and regular thought leadership. Let them see a glimpse of your skills, experiences, and personality. You can post your professional introduction to your social media channels.

Participate in forums and group discussions

This is very advisable to join and participate in online discussions to gather people who have the same interest and make them your potential networks. Also, keeping in touch with timely discussions regarding the industry you are interested in keeps you updated and informed about the current market trends. By sharing information, asking questions, and being interested in different topics in your field, you can expand your network and knowledge.

Bonus: Having a successful interview after making your application stand out

1. Do your research

It is important for applicants to spend time researching the company’s organizational culture, mission, and shared values. This part can be done by viewing the company’s website, online platforms, or through someone you know who is part of the organization. Understanding these organizational factors are a vital part of practicing for an interview. Therefore, you can leverage your edge over others once you learn as much as possible before applying and during the interview process.

2. Practice makes you perfect

Or maybe not, but it can make a huge difference compared to those who don’t. Rehearsing before the interview is never a bad idea. This would be the part where you write and familiarize yourself with the details you gathered from the company you are interested in. While you are at it, practice the skill of leaving a positive impression on the interviewer. We cannot argue how first impressions are a vital factor to stand out from the crowd. The following are some tips on how to make a great first impression on interviewers:

Dress to Impress- No matter how hard we can deny it, looks matters indeed to stand out among the crowd and to gain the interviewer’s attention. Dressing appropriately for the occasion. The way we dress and represent ourselves are crucial factors to the success of the interview. Others who take this factor less seriously tend to not stand out from the rest.

Learn when to talk and listen. Interviewers often find it annoying or boring when the applicant is too talkative or too shy to market themselves during the interview. The professional introduction or elevator pitch we discussed earlier is applicable here when introducing yourself. Do not talk so much about yourself and learn to listen to how others speak. You might have the most excellent record in your field, but eventually, people are going to want to talk about themselves- and you should let them. Not everyone knows how to listen so that will give you a great remark to stand out and be remembered.

3. Prepare questions in advance. 

Remember that you are being interviewed not because of who you are but because they would like to know how you can be an asset and make a difference for the company. This means that the interviewer will more likely ask you if you have any questions and that preparing a question in this part is a crucial factor in standing out among the others. Not everyone is ready for this moment, so you have the chance to be remembered based on your questions and the way you asked them.

Asking questions also leaves an impression on the interviewer that you are prepared for that moment and are serious about the position that you are interested in. These questions can range from wanting to know about the company’s culture to how they would likely treat you when you are hired. Some remarkable questions to be considered are as follows: Note that ask them in a respectful manner to make an impression and to encourage them to answer your question truthfully.


  • What can you say about your organizational culture?
  • How does your company define success? How are they committed to ethical conduct?
  • What motivates you to get up and work for this company?
  • Can you please tell me how does this company performs or treat employees than its competitors?
  • If an employee makes a mistake, how do you handle it?

4. Follow up and make a lasting impression

Of course, a first impression may matter, but leaving a lasting impression that keeps you in the interviewer’s mind is an achievement. Know when and how to follow-up. Many applicants find it hard how to follow-up on the company that they are applying for. One way to do this is to write a thank you email not later than a day after the interview was held. A brief message or email thanking the interviewer for the time you had with them would be a great one. It would be best if you also took the time to incorporate something specific from the interview moment so they can remember who you are. Emails are one of the convenient ways to instigate a new line of communication. This can be an avenue for recruiters or hiring managers to get back to you to offer you a job or getting in touch with you in the future. This is how essential these factors are.




Silicon Valley Associates is ideally positioned to support the continual demand from tech companies and IT Departments looking to hire in Hong Kong, Asia, and Worldwide. Please let us know if you would further advise on the above topic or your hiring needs


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