Get ahead of the game: how to make it onto that all-important interview shortlist

Moving between roles, out of work for some time, or overqualified for the role you’re applying for? By making small changes to the way you apply for roles you could avoid making some common mistakes and instead get your application to the top of the ‘yes’ pile.

Moving between roles

Recruiters can be wary of people who change job roles on a regular basis, but it is becoming a more common feature of the employment market as workers look for new ways to develop and demonstrate a breadth of skills and to build on their experience. If this applies to you, it is essential that your CV/application is tailored to your wide-ranging skill set: be specific and use facts and figures to highlight what you have achieved. You want to convince the employer that you are not a risk and, to do so, you must focus on the tangible value of your employment in previous roles and the skills and experience you can offer.

Time out of work

The longer you are out of work, the harder it can be to get back into a job. It is easy to get into a cycle of writing applications in the same style but, in order to secure that all important interview, you may need to try a different approach. Consider contacting hiring managers directly by phone or by email. Making a personal connection with someone and giving a positive first impression can make all the difference when trying to stand out in a competitive and crowded market. Another good tip is to undertake some volunteering to add different skills and current experience to your CV.


Being overqualified for a role may seem like a good thing but, surprisingly, employers don’t always view this quite so favourably! To counter any negative preconceptions they may have, be sure to let hiring managers know that you fully understand the job being advertised, and articulate clearly and positively the reasons why you are interested in the role. Sincerity goes a long way so, on the cover letter or application form, be honest and explain where you are now, where you want to be and why/how you plan on getting there. A good employer will always recognise (and hopefully reward) a trustworthy candidate who is open and genuine about their reasons for applying for the role.