3 Ways to Be More Competitive in the Job Market

3 Ways to Be More Competitive in the Job Market

Every serious job candidate eying a given position knows they compete for limited slots against hundreds or thousands of applicants. Surviving such a competition calls for a real strategy, and not just luck. Below, we’ve rounded up the three tips that will help you stand out from the rest during job interviews and the vetting process. 

1.  Relevant Skills 

Depending on your niche or industry, there are always certain skills that everyone mentions on their resume. Getting ahead of your competition involves providing your potential employer with further details regarding your skills and abilities.

In the business world, for example, relevant skills could involve accounting experience, business management, or data analysis, depending on the role. For healthcare professionals, empathy, time management, and problem-solving could be the most relevant skills. 

Be sure to understand the industry and update your resume to reflect the intricacies of your unique capabilities. If you aren’t sure of the most relevant skills required in a given job or position, you should do your research. Reaching out to seasoned professionals on LinkedIn or consulting your coach or mentor could be your best bet.

2.  Key Competencies of the Position

After identifying relevant skills, next is to determine what the employer wants from their ideal candidates. The best way to identify these key competencies is to analyze the job posting and scan through the “requirements” and “roles and responsibilities” sections.

Here, you’ll notice a mention of the job experience, working environment, and other qualities desirable for the job. Next is to confirm that you have these qualities and to update them in detail in your resume. 

For junior-level employees, teamwork, communication, and responsibility could be the key competencies. For senior-level positions, leadership, decision-making, and integrity could be the qualities of interest. 

However, nearly all job candidates require other competencies such as self-awareness, creative thinking, and attention to detail. A solution is to consider taking a relevant online test before the interview to gauge your abilities and to know the areas that need improvement.  

3.  Know Your Personality 

Everyone has their own set of behavioral patterns and temperaments that may thrive in specific work environments and not others. Knowing your key personality traits will help you choose a career path that you are more likely to succeed in, from the interviewing process to onboarding and throughout your career development.  

For instance, individuals who are high in trait openness may do well in creative arts, writing, or designing. On the other hand, highly conscientious individuals may do well as freelancers, doctors, or consultants. There are specific attributes that every hiring manager will be looking for, and there are also those habits that employers would consider red flags. 

The key takeaway is to compare your personality traits with the typical behavioral patterns needed to succeed in a given job. This will highlight the areas you need to improve on to be competitive in the job market.  


Having relevant skills, understanding the job’s key competencies, and knowing your unique personality traits are key to standing out and beating the competition. However, you’ll still need to be put in the work to ensure you stick to all the job application best practices.

About the author


Steven Ly

Steven Ly is the Startup Program and Events Manager at TheNextHint Inc. She recruits rockstar startups for all TC events including Disrupt, meetups, Sessions, and more both domestically and internationally. Previously, she helped produce Dreamforce with Salesforce and Next '17 with Google. Prior to that, she was on the advertising teams at both Facebook and AdRoll, helping support advertisers in North America and helped grow those brands globally. Outside of work, Priya enjoys Flywheel, tacos, the 49ers, and adventuring around the globe.

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