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I literally have to use this phrase daily however I am never certain of my translation. All of the other sources on the internet are inconclusive and I would like to clear this doubt up once and for all.

In English we often say 'X thing sets you apart from the crowd' or 'you set yourself apart with X', with the significance of something that distinguishes you from other and therefore makes you a better candidate.

My problem is that I'm not sure how to translate this, should I say te distingue o te distingues, usually I say something like:

Tu experiencia laboral te va a ayudar mucho en este caso porque te distingue de lo(s) demás / la muchedumbre

Con todo lo que hayas hecho en tu vida profesional te distingues mucho de los otros y esto te hará un mejor candidato

However I'm also aware of "destacarse" and perhaps this would be a better translation.

Te has destacado bastante desde que te graduaste y por esto tu aplicación será mas fuerte

Hoping that someone can show me the best translation for this concept.

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"tu aplicación será mas fuerte" sounds wrong to me. –  leonbloy Sep 20 '13 at 16:22
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Both are quite correct IMO, the differences, if any, are very subtle.

To complemente "distinguir(se)" I'd use "los demás", "los otros" or "el resto" when there is a restricted set of competitors, or "la mayoría" o "el común (de la gente)" when speaking more globally. (I don't like "la muchedumbre" for this).

For "destacar", it's similar - though this word to me emphasizes more the quality of excellence and a little less the difference with respect with others, and hence leds more to be used alone. Again, this is subtle.

Other alternatives: "sobresalir" , "descollar", "tener/adquirir/dar ventaja".

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Great other alternatives! Why did I never use sobresalir! –  Adam Brown Sep 20 '13 at 16:24
    
See eg wordreference.com/sinonimos/destacar –  leonbloy Sep 20 '13 at 16:28
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