How to Stand Out During a Job Search

Nina Boyd, WayUp Staff
How to Stand Out During a Job Search

Whether you’re looking for an internship or an entry-level job, creatively showing off your skills and abilities is a great way to get noticed — and hired! In addition to highlighting previous work experience or classes you’ve taken, this means demonstrating to hiring managers that you’re a well-rounded person with a lot to offer.

If anyone knows a lot about hiring amazing candidates, it’s the team at Capital One. We recently asked Kara Augone, Senior Manager of Human Resources and Ryan Robinson, Senior Recruiter for Campus Recruiting to share some things you can do to stand out to potential employers.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you have for students and recent grads who are just starting out?

Be authentic and do your research. You should think outside the box when looking for a job.

For example, when you think of Capital One you may think of finance, but did you know that Capital One actively hires interns and recent grads for data scientists and engineers? This is the case for many industries and companies so it’s important to know all your options and how to make the most of them.

What if you haven’t had a ton of professional experience and your resume is not that impressive?

Instead of focusing on professional experience, talk about your individual journey and the accomplishments that have come from that. Maybe you worked 30 hours a week in retail while you were a full-time student, or paid your way through college. These things demonstrate leadership and personal success. Don’t try to fit the mold by focusing only on skills that are specific to the job you’re applying for. Focus on your achievements instead and talk about that.  

What do you look for when hiring college students and recent grads?

Extracurriculars, projects, volunteering — all of these are great ways of showing that you went out of your way to do something because they contribute to something you want to do long-term vs. something that “looks good.” We’re looking for candidates who stand out beyond what’s on their resume and who are enthusiastic about their future. Social stuff doesn’t impress us as much. If you were in a sorority or a social club, that’s great to enhance your time in college, but not as relevant to professional roles.

How can students stand out during an internship?

Show that you have a hunger and a willingness to learn at every turn. When it comes to internships, the interns that stand out are the interns that you forget are interns. They don’t treat it like an internship, they treat it like a job. Those are the people that are likely to get noticed and have an internship turn into a full-time job.
Whether you’re just starting out on your job search or you’re already interviewing with several companies, following Kara and Ryan’s advice will help you highlight your unique abilities and impress your interviewer. Ready to ramp up that job search? Check out more amazing opportunities here.