IN A world of work where Australians increasingly are qualified, jobseekers have to find new ways to stand out from the pack.
The number of Australians with a bachelor degree has almost doubled in a decade, with 4.24 million people aged 20 to 64 holding one in 2016, compared to 2.75 million in 2006, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals.
Meanwhile, a third of waiters (33.6 per cent) had a post-school qualification despite not traditionally requiring the completion of Year 12, 2015 Employment Department figures show.
Accodex chief executive and accounting futurist Chris Hooper says he is impressed by people who can offer something besides the expected qualification.
“It’s weird stuff that we are looking for – a professional athlete or blogger or Instagram influencer. There is usually something in a candidate’s history that stands out,” he says.
“(In accounting it seems) everyone has a bachelor degree, a CA (chartered accountant qualification) and three years’ experience in a mid-tier firm.
“I’ve got an accountant who used to run her own company before she graduated. She’s been exposed to customers and the psychological elements.”
Hooper says a worker’s most valuable asset is their digital reputation.
“If I changed and started writing books, I would be able to take my brand over to that,” he says.
“Instead of locking down your social profiles, you should be curating them for the story you want to put out to the marketplace.”
He also recommends reading lots of books and continually learning with online courses.
Employment Office chief operating officer Andrea Davey says what stands out in a job application is dependant on the specific role and recruiter.
“Behind the scenes, many people have their unadvertised – and sometimes even subconscious – desirables and deal-breakers,” she says.
“They could be looking for something to stand out that you have no idea about as a candidate but most people would agree strong candidates take the time to apply for the specific role, rather than using the exact same cover letter and resume for every job they apply for.”
Glenfiddich ambassador Richard Blanchard landed his niche role by leveraging networks and solidifying his personal brand.
“William Grant & Sons, and the family of brand ambassadors they employ, are renowned for their social media presence (so) one of the first steps I took was to ensure my social media profile was brand appropriate,” he says.
“Working for Glenfiddich, you get to embrace the world of whisky, prior to employment, I made sure my social media was an extension of those ideals.”
William Grant & Sons marketing manager Mark Little says he hired Blanchard because of his enthusiasm, professionalism and creativity.
Read more employment news in the Careers section of Saturday’s News Corp Australia metropolitan newspapers.
Originally published as Jobseekers in for a rude awakening