Top five tips for employability: How to make your job application stand out

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Many job ads receive hundreds of applications, so it pays to make sure your CV captures attention from the get-go. But what can you do to make sure your skills and experience stand out? It can be hard to know what a potential employer is looking for, especially when jobs and technology are changing, career development is expected, and graduate employment opportunities are competitive.

We reached out to UNSW’s Simone Donovan, Head of Talent Acquisition, to compile of list of the top five ways you can increase your employability and help your CV stand out. 


Many employers simply don't have the time to read a CV that too many words and no visual distinction between roles, which is why a clean and simple format is best. Keep your layout clear and stick to the key selling points of your work experience. 

Using a CV template with bullet points allows you to clearly communicate your skill set to time poor recruiters. This creates a visual distinction between the roles and skills you are listing. Simone suggests using a maximum of ten points per role, and if you prefer to use paragraphs, use a maximum of three. 

Networking increases your chances of connecting with future employers, or other staff members at organisations you want to work at. Recruiters are more likely to respond to you when they’ve already come in contact with you.

One advantage of postgraduate study is that it offers ample opportunities to take advantage of the university's connections and industry partners.  

Postgraduate expertise looks great on any CV, but it will also open up a range of opportunities to build your professional experience and grow industry relevant skills. Whether it be joining a student-run club or society, undertaking internships or work placements or building experience and connections through events, volunteering, or sport, taking on diverse opportunities will increase your employability.

A range of experiences shows tenacity, initiative, and highlights your ability to embrace teamwork.

Don’t be afraid to work with your personality, the thing that makes you who you are. A great place to showcase this personal statement at the top of your CV, or in your cover letter. These allow you to tailor your words to the role you are applying for, but also to really go into what makes you passionate about your industry, what drives your professional development, and what your personal career goals are. There’s only one version of you, so make the most of it.