Unique ways Graduates Improve their Interview Chances

Career Advice
07 December 2016 | Career Advice | upriseVSI Technical

As you go into your last year and start to think about applying for jobs, you’re bound to be worried about the competition you face for work. However, there are things you can do that can set you apart from your competition and improve your chances of being called in for an interview.

Spice up your CV

Although everyone has a CV, it’s now the year 2016 and there is technology available that allows candidates go above and beyond the minimum requirements. Not only does a video CV save a potential employer time in having to read numerous pages of information, but it gives them the chance to see you as a person before calling you in for interview. You might have the ideal personality for a role you’re applying for, but a regular written CV doesn’t show this. Use Linkedin to network with company decision makers

Although to many, Linkedin is something where you can advertise your experience, there’s nothing stopping you from making connections in the industry you’re looking to work. Instead of just sending a CV to the careers inbox of a number of businesses, look up the company CEO’s and managers and connect with them. Send them a personal message asking about any upcoming roles and send your CV to them. It will let them know that you’re really eager to work for the business. Summer Internship/Work Experience

Although not as unique as the other two, the best way of increasing your chances of an interview is to offer your services for a period of unpaid work. That way, you get to know whether or not a company is worth working for and they get to see how you work. In some cases, you might not even need an interview if they like you that much.

Freelancing Experience

This isn’t applicable for every industry, but a great way to set yourself apart from the rest of the field is to build up some experience as a freelancer. There are a number of websites where you can sign up, like PeoplePerHour, Upwork and Freelancer, and look for projects in your desired field. These sites are competitive, but as someone who is looking to build experience, you can charge competitively and hopefully it will lead to some clients accepting your offer. Having some hands-on experience shows that you are a go-getter and might set you apart from another candidate with a similar degree.


Reddit is a huge site with thousands of communities of people in a bunch of different industries. Some feature some high-profile employers. If you’re studying web development, there’s a large community of developers and people have been known to gain employment through the site. Set up a blog

Another way to set yourself apart is to set up a blog about your industry, or about your quest to find work. You can even put your CV (and video CV) on here so your knowledge is easily accessible for potential employers. Conferences and Seminars

Most industries have regular conferences where people go to learn new things and mingle with their peers. In some cases, all you have to do is buy a ticket and you can attend. This is the perfect place for you to meet the big players in the industry that you’re looking to find work in. A great example of this is Brighton SEO. Pretty much every top digital agency will send people there, so it’s a perfect way to meet the right people and get the right contacts.

On top of this, I recently spoke to Nick Riesel, who founded FreeOfficeFinder, to get more of an idea about what sets candidates apart in front of potential employers.

“When we advertise a new position, we get an average of about 50 applicants. You can’t always see everyone, so if someone goes the extra mile to stand out then it will improve their chances of getting an interview. We look for people with enthusiasm and doing something unique in the recruitment process will improve your chances of being interviewed by us.”

“The ideas put forward in this post are definitely things that aren’t done too often by candidates, and if someone were to go that extra mile when a job is advertised, it would probably put them in a good position to be called in.”

Applying for jobs can be a soul-destroying process if you hardly hear back from those you apply to. These tips won’t guarantee you a job, nor will they guarantee you an interview, but start applying using unique methods and you’ll start to see more interest in calling you in to the next stage.

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