How to show off your personality in job applications?
We want you to have the best chance of getting work so here are some tips to help you.
23 Dec 2020
When applying for a job, you will likely be competing with many other candidates for the same role. So, it is important to make sure that you stand out against your competition.
Having qualifications, experience or skills is certainly helpful, but often many of the other candidates will have similar attributes. For a job application, it's important to stand out using the one thing your competitors won’t have, your own personality.
But getting your personality across to recruiters can be difficult in a rigid application process. So we would like to share with you how you can show off your personality at each stage of the application process.
As we’ve stated before, to have an effective CV, you must try and keep it minimal so that the recruiters can find and digest the information they need quickly. For this reason, it can be difficult to get a lot of your personality in there but remember that if you’re successful the recruiter will pass the CV on to someone who will have a more in-depth look at it, so it is important to get it in where you can.
One of the best ways to show your personality is your use of language; where there is an opportunity for description on your CV, really think about your tone of voice and try to write enthusiastically, the way you would talk. It is also a good idea to avoid cliché. For example, don’t just list all the skills that everyone will put like organization and timekeeping, think about what your personality can bring to the table and explain the skills that it gives you.
Whereas your CV will be kept as minimal, your cover letter is your chance to shine, so fill it with personality. Just like with your CV, remember to keep control of your tone of voice to make it engaging and avoid using too many clichés.
Try to be creative with the way you write your letter. Following a template is great to get a base for it, but remember that employers probably see this template a lot. Think about what you can do to the structure or the content to make it more unique to you; perhaps think of a unique way of opening and/ closing the letter. Remember also that a big part of having personality is being personable. Try and make a connection with the employer/ company that you are applying to, think about you relate to the company and don’t be afraid to be human.
Once you’ve shown your personality in your CV and cover letter, you will hopefully make it to the interview stages. This is where you get a chance to show off your character live and in person. Unlike the previous two steps, you cannot necessarily pre-plan how you come across in the interview stage, it’s all about being aware of yourself in the moment. You can, however, practice fake interviews to get used to the situation.
The first thing to be aware of in an interview situation is your voice, don’t try and force a professional sounding voice, just speak the way you would normally, give them you. Be friendly and warm in your speech and also in your attitude; it’s ok to be nervous but just remember to listen to the interviewer and take in what they say in order to have a genuine reaction to them. Your body language is also key. Try to maintain a good posture, don’t slouch, but make sure that you are comfortable and relaxed. This will show the interviewer how you are at your most comfortable and confident. Relaxing your body will also help to relax your mind to focus on showing off your character.
With some jobs, you may be asked to complete a trial shift/ period before they offer you the job. Much like in an interview, this is a chance to showcase your personality in-person to your employers, with your speech, body language and communication. But the main aim is for you to showcase to them what your personality is like when you’re on the job, as well as showing them your personal work ethic.
The key here is balance. You will likely be working with others; your potential employer will be looking at the way you interact with them and build relationships. So, like in the interview stage, relax and keep control of your body language and tone of voice when interacting with co-workers, above all be friendly and respectful. The balance comes from also having to show off that you can focus your attention on the job. The best way to manage this is to do as much research on the job as possible and prepare. This will help you to know the moments when the job needs your undivided attention and recognize the moments when you can relax into interacting as a team member.
An employer does not want robots working for them, they want someone with energy and enthusiasm who is going to bring their own flavour to the job. Using our tips, you can seize your opportunities to showcase the personality that makes you interesting and hopefully, bag the job you’re looking for!