Setting Yourself Apart When Applying for Management Jobs

Recent research on job interviews suggests that “The average number of people who tend to apply for a single job is 118, while only 20% of them get to be interviewed.” If you’re pursuing a job in management, in particular, it becomes that much more important to show a potential employer why you’re the one for such a responsibility.

Setting yourself apart when applying for management jobs is a must if you want to land a position that matches your skill-set and allows you to grow.

Here are five things you can do to set yourself apart when applying for management jobs.

Actively Improve Your Management Skills

People management and project management skills are necessary to become a successful manager. Developing both types of management skills can set you apart when applying for various management positions.

Managing people ensures you can motivate your team to do quality work consistently. On the other hand, managing projects ensures you can see projects to completion and delegate tasks effectively to get things done.

You can improve your management skills by:

  • Pushing past the feeling like you’ve learned all you can in your current position and finding ways to learn more.
  • Growing the effectiveness of your communication and the strength of your peer relationships.
  • Learning how to make strategic decisions and using this and other skills in your current job.
  • Pursuing traditional educational opportunities like an MBA.
  • Taking the initiative and asking your current manager if there are any managerial responsibilities you can handle for them.

Let’s talk more about taking on management responsibilities that give you some hands-on experience.

Take On Management Responsibilities

It’s terrific to pursue higher education, certifications, and other self-education routes to grow your management skills. However, there’s nothing like real-world experience. Test your skill set by taking on management responsibilities

Ask your current manager if there are any responsibilities you can take off their plate. If they agree to let you take on a few tasks, ensure you know exactly what you need to accomplish and the deadline for doing so. Then, fully engage in the tasks and exceed the expectations your manager set for them.

Not only will you get some real-world management experience, but you’ll have an opportunity to impress your manager and hopefully use them as a reference when you apply for your management job. Or, they’ll be more likely to think of you if a management role opens up where you’re currently working.

Polishing your application materials can also set you apart from the competition when applying for management jobs.

Polish Your Application Materials

A considerable part of standing out when applying for management jobs is ensuring your application materials are as professional and polished as possible. Unfortunately, most candidates don’t dig into the details of their application materials, costing them job opportunities.

You can show critical management skills like organization, detail-orientedness, and effective communication through your application materials.

For example, if a potential employer asks for a cover letter explaining your background and why you’re a good match for their position, clearly and engagingly communicate these things.

Or, if an application calls for a resume, cover letter, references, and writing samples, show that you pay attention to the details and be sure to offer them all.

Be sure you’re tailoring your resume and cover letter to each management position you apply for to set yourself apart from most applicants sending in generic versions. You should also choose your references wisely whenever a potential employer requests them. Finally, spend ample time on any writing samples or additional materials requested in the application.

In your application materials, and especially in the interview, be sure you’re showing your qualifications and abilities rather than simply talking about them.

Show Don’t Tell

It’s easy to talk about what you can do as a manager, but it’s even better to prove to a potential employer that you’ve got what it takes by showing them.

Whether you’re writing a cover letter, tailoring your resume, or engaging in an interview, you must connect your experience to the job you’re applying for, especially if you don’t have the exact experience or qualifications asked for in the job posting.

For instance, let’s say a potential employer wants a manager adept at closing projects. In that case, show how you successfully closed your last project by sharing how the way you transferred deliverables, confirmed completion, reviewed the project, and its accompanying documentation boosted the success of the completed project.  

Lastly, be yourself throughout the entire application process, in the interview, and beyond.

Be Yourself

There’s only one you in this world. You must leverage this fact whenever you’re applying for management jobs. There may be candidates that look better on paper. But company leaders understand that even if a candidate looks good on paper, it doesn’t mean they’re the best fit for the job—personality matters in management.

Authenticity goes a long way, not just with the hiring manager but with the employees, you’ll be overseeing if you get the job. It’s so vital that you’re a pleasant person to work with, genuine in your efforts to connect with everyone on the team, and confident in your unique qualities that set you apart from others.

Ultimately, the best way to set yourself apart when applying for management jobs is to be yourself because there’s only one you in this world.


Setting yourself apart when applying for management jobs is essential if you want a crack at landing a favorable role.

You can begin setting yourself apart by actively improving your management skills and gaining some real-world management experience by taking on additional responsibilities.

You should also learn the art of “show don’t tell” and polish your application materials.

Most importantly, be yourself throughout the entire application process and beyond.

This article was written by Dan Matthews.
Dan Matthews is a writer, content consultant, and conservationist. While Dan writes on a variety of topics, he loves to focus on the topics that look inward to help develop one’s self, in turn developing mankind to make the surrounding world a better place to reside. When Dan isn’t working on new content, you can find him with a coffee cup in one hand and searching for new music in the other.

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