7 Top Tips to help your Job Application Stand Out

7 Top Tips to help your Job Application Stand Out

Fraser People stand out from the crowd

In our (relatively) Covid-free Aotearoa, the job market has been extremely active as we head into 2021.  (More on this to come).

It’s a crowded market for job applications. You may have heard talk of the huge numbers of applications for a role, and recruiters and employers struggling to keep up.

So, how do you stand out from the crowd if you are applying for a job right now?

We’ve put together 7 top tips

to help you get noticed!

1.  Is your CV relevant for the role you are applying for?

Do your research to understand what the job involves and what the employer is seeking.  Always submit a CV that is relevant to the job you are applying for.

Pull out specific experience that you have for that role or sector.  Don’t just randomly apply in the hope you might get a call. Think of your CV as a marketing tool. Why would they hire you? In this market, it will come down to your ability to highlight your core skills and experience.

2.  Use structure to your advantage: make your application count 

Clarity is key!  You have around 20-30 seconds to grab the hiring manager or recruiter’s attention. Make your resume readable and uncluttered to encourage them to read on.  A lot of companies use AI technology to scan CV’s for key words. Keep your CV left aligned, use bullet points to break up wordy paragraphs to make it easy to skim read.   Get  the basics right, including the correct company and hiring manager on your application. Check and recheck for spelling mistakes, or have someone else look it over before applying.

3.  Highlight your best bits

Rather than a list of all the previous positions you have held, keep the CV to 2-3 pages tops.  Emphasise the key roles that are relevant (that word again) to the role.  Your CV should be outcome focused not a long list of responsibilities that run to 20 pages (true story!!) What did you achieve in the role – rather than what was expected?


Fraser People highlight your best bits

4.  Make connections

If you have the details of the person recruiting the role, don’t be shy to pick up the phone to ask them some good questions about the role. Do this well and you will leave a good impression when your application arrives. Find out if you have any mutual connections or people who may work in the organisation and check in with them for feedback to see if the company is right for you.

See our blog on 6 signs of a positive company culture    

Fraser People Make a Connection

5.   Don’t apply for every role going

You may think it’s best to get your CV out there for every role. Rest assured there is nothing more off-putting than having one candidate apply for every role you have advertised.  It’s not possible to be the right fit for all roles, so please rethink this approach.  Keep a good record of the roles you are applying for. When the phone rings don’t waste the opportunity struggling to recall which role and company it was.  Be interested! Those first interactions are memorable for the recruiter – make it count.   

6.  Adjust your social media

Many of us forget that what goes online stays online, which can come back to haunt us when applying for roles.  Trust me, the employer and recruiter will be checking your online profiles before they call you. Check those privacy settings!

Fraser People Social Media

7.  …. and last but not least the cover letter

Ah, the dreaded cover letter. Does anyone really read these? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if I could just let my CV speak for itself?

Yes! Cover letters do in fact, get read. To some hiring managers, they’re the most important part of your application. While it would be easier to let your CV speak for itself, if that was the case you’d completely miss the opportunity to tell prospective employers who you are. Showcase why they should hire you which will help you stand out from the rest.

Video cover letters are becoming more commonplace, so don’t be afraid to show your personality here in less than 60 seconds.  Maintain eye contact, and show your enthusiasm for the role.

Fraser People cover letter
Fraser People Video Cover Letter

If you have read this far, you may be finding it tough out there.  How you apply is crucial to making it to the next round.  If you’d like more information or help with this, give us a shout.

Should I include my references in my CV?

Should I include my references in my CV?


Two people on couch holding heart signs over their faces

Should I include my references in my CV?

We get asked this a lot!  The short answer is no!

We do not recommend listing references on your CV. And here’s why…

In the early stages of an application process, recruiters and hiring managers are simply looking to get a high level understanding of your work experience.  You may be tempted to include your referee details within your CV to show some transparency or show these people can back up “I’m as great as I’m saying I am!”  

That’s understandable, however, there are some good reasons not to include them:

Protecting your

referees’ privacy 

There is personal information about that person sitting on your CV that could be distributed online. It could be uploaded to websites or job matching sites. They may not want their contact information shared with “the world.”

Respect for your

referees’ time

It protects your referees from any unsolicited calls. It also prevents people calling them before you have decided to progress any further with the application.



the process

Not including them allows you to have more control over who you nominate as your referees for a particular role. It gives you time to speak to them first. You can let them know who will be calling and you can brief them on the key points of the role.


Instead use the phrase “References available upon request”

  This line may sound like you are stating the obvious, but using it shows you are prepared.

Already gathered some great references and would like to show them off?


Create a Separate


Create a reference list in a separate document. Then when you are asked by a recruiter or potential employer for references, you can send them across quickly in a clear document. Do check for permission from anyone you plan to include! 

 Use Linked In

   Make sure your Linked In profile is up to date and ask for recommendations.  Recruiters and hiring managers will be checking out your profile, having up to date testimonials is another way to showcase your experience.












Application Form


Occasionally application forms will specifically ask for this information, which is fine and you should include it. Otherwise referees’ contact info should be on a “need to know” basis.

You want to make use of the space in your CV and make every word count.

Rule of thumb….. unless you are asked, don’t put references in your CV.

Newsletter March 2020

Newsletter March 2020

Read our E-Newsletter March 2020

Welcome to our very first e-newsletter! Firstly I hope you are all safe and doing well. Congratulations on making it through week one in what is such a surreal time for us all!

Thank you for playing your part to stay home and save lives, let’s stay united to beat this. In what is a challenging time for us all, there is one thing I am certain of –  we will be here to support you in whatever way we can. Whether you are looking for work or wanting some support with your people processes, we are here, so give us a shout if you’d like to connect.

We are very excited to launch this newsletter which we hope will inform and inspire you on a regular basis. You are receiving this because you are in our database.

Are your pets loving having all the family at home in their bubble as much as mine are?  Lots of extra walks and treats for us all.

Carol Fraser

….And then we were two

Read our E-Newsletter March 2020

A huge welcome to Leila McIntyre as my new Client Services Manager.  Some of you will know Leila already, as she is in fact my sister. It is very humbling and motivating that Leila believes in my business and has joined me to continue this epic journey.With her strong background in PA and customer focused roles – she is the perfect addition to the team.

Read our E-Newsletter March 2020
Izzy the office dog thinks so too!

This Too Shall Pass

by Leila McIntyre

In our own way each of us will be coming to terms with how Covid-19 has affected our lives. Who would have ever known that 2020 would become such a nightmare?

Two weeks into my role as Client Services Manager for my sister Carol, and we had to say goodbye to each other not knowing when we would see each other again in the flesh. We are so lucky that in 2020 we are able to to stay in touch virtually, during this imposed lock down, and how we are now turning inwards and realising the importance of staying in touch with those nearest and dearest.

Yesterday was yet another glorious sunny day and my husband and I took the opportunity to walk around the neighbourhood. Never have we had so many greetings, or waves from complete strangers. We then came home feeling energised and our social contact tank topped up. Later that day whilst I was pulling weeds in our driveway, each person who walked by greeted me.  With the lack of noise pollution from vehicles, I was able to hear conversations never heard before. I found it entertaining being given an insight into other people’s lives and again made the isolation a little more bearable.

I know that eventually this will pass and life will go on, but I like to think that this new way of being aware of each other will remain.

Round North Island Race 2020

The Round North Island yacht Race kicked off in Auckland on 22 February. Fraser People was proud to sponsor CU Later yachting on their epic adventure.  The race was created by Sir Peter Blake back in 1976 and is raced every 3 years.

Thirty eight yachts took on what can be considered a crazy challenge – circumnavigating the north island.

Logan and Nico had a great result completing the race on 9 March with an overall 2nd on line and 2nd on handicap in their division. As one of the smallest and most extreme yachts in the race we were delighted to support their dream. 

CU Later Logan and Nico
CU Later in RNI Race

Things to be grateful for whilst working from home

  • Here’s an opportunity to restore some balance in your life
  • Less commuting time means you now have more time to spend with your family
  • There’s also the comfort that comes from being in your own space, with your own things, and wearing what you like
  • It’s easier to stay on top of household duties like putting on a load of washing or letting meals cook while you work
  • You might find it simpler to schedule in exercise or just take a break by going for a walk around the block
  • The way you work could be more streamlined – a meeting might become an email; or a quick video check-in
  • Your breaks can also involve things you couldn’t do at your workplace, like playing an instrument or cuddling your pet.
Read our E-Newsletter March 2020

When Option A Is Not Available

When Option A Is Not Available

Option A is not available,

so let’s kick the shit out of Option B

Fraser People when option A is not available

This philosophy from Author Sheryl Sandberg really resonated with me last year, as I processed my grief after losing a loved one. It helped me as I worked out what the next phase of life was going to be like for me.  The thing is – most of us are in fact living our Option B, C or even D, as when big stuff happens in life that is out of our control, it can create a shift in mind set, or the need for change.

So how is option B going for me?

I have been reflecting a lot over the past week as we approached the Anniversary, which I’ll admit has had quite an impact on me.  While I don’t want to be defined by what has happened, writing about it is cathartic in a lot of ways. Taking some time out to see how things look today also helps.

Taking the plunge to start my own business

It was one of the scariest and most rewarding things I have ever done. Having a new focus was key and I knew I had to do it my way. Simply, I wanted to work with good people with the same ideals who wanted to work with me and have fun along the way.   I am happy to say that is in fact happening, and 1 year on Fraser People is taking on a life of its own.

I heard a saying somewhere that out of our pain we find our power.  It’s certainly what has driven me. I’ll always be grateful for the support I have received – so here’s to you all kicking the shit out of your option B, C or D!

“It’s Life Jim, but Not As We Know It”

“It’s Life Jim, but Not As We Know It”

Fraser People It's Life Jim but Not as we Know it

Life-changing decisions can stem from many things

For me, taking the plunge into self-employment is the end result of my journey following the sudden death of a loved one last year. It may sound cliché but I now understand why many people effect change in their lives after suffering a loss.

Grief can be a baffling experience. I can say without hesitation I have never felt anything like it. It’s something you move through not get over. It can create a huge shift in your outlook.

Some people decide it’s time to do something radical like volunteering in Africa, moving cities, or re-train. Some choose to retain the status quo. It’s a personal journey so the outcome is different for everyone.

Grief became the catalyst to start my own business – and consequently, start this new blog. I should probably have begun with a topic like ‘recruitment tips’ or ‘how to write a good CV’ – that would be the easy option, wouldn’t it?!

But first I wanted to share why Fraser People is more than just a name to me

It’s scary to put yourself out there, and I (like most of you), have had that voice in my head creating all the usual objections about why we can’t do something rather than why we can. But hey, to quote US research Professor Brené Brown: “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

So here goes…

Throwing in a paid job and taking several months out last year to contemplate life, in general, was exactly what I needed to do. Hanging out at the beach with our much-loved dog, Frodo, was just the tonic. With family, friends, and some wonderful clients as a sounding board, it became clear to me that starting my own business was what I really wanted to do.

Being able to build a business that fully embraces the values I believe in: strong relationships, honesty, and exceptional customer service is incredibly important to me. So I’ve taken everything I’ve learned from my life’s journey so far and found the inner strength to jump right in and do things my way.

I’m proud to say I’m now re-energised and grateful to have a new focus. “Life is short” is no longer an over-used term from my point of view.  Instead, I’m embracing tech executive and author Sheryl Sandberg’s philosophy: “Option A is not available so let’s kick the shit out of Option B!”