With news articles running stories of individuals submitting more than 300 unsuccessful job applications, and the pandemic forcing 1.4 million workers to delay their retirement plans indefinitely; it’s perfectly understandable that many job seekers may be feeling apprehensive about what job prospects are out there.
And so we’re here to assure you that despite what you might have read, the job market is still buoyant. After all, online job adverts are on the rise, with 181,000 new postings in the first week of May alone. Plus, the number of UK-based remote working roles has more than quadrupled in the past year – with more and more employers embracing flexible working models.
So, with organisations seemingly focused on hiring, what can you do to ensure you enjoy a successful transition and land a new role?
Here are three tips to help you in the new reality:
Tailored applications – A common pitfall for many is the untailored application or CV. In today’s job market, it simply isn’t enough to upload your CV to an online job board and begin firing off applications. Employers and recruiters are looking for individually tailored responses to their adverts, whereby you illustrate your genuine interest in the role by taking the time to highlight how you directly match the criteria for the position.
In order to make your CV and application more impactful, try and identify the key criteria on the job advert and align it to your own skill-set. Have you got examples of where you’ve used particular qualities the employer is asking for in the advert? Use these experiences to write achievement statements – illustrating exactly why you’re the right fit for the role with quantifiable results.
Remember, employers and recruiters will only take a brief moment to skim-read your application during the initial sift, so make sure you’ve done all you can to immediately showcase your alignment to the role and grab their attention.
Career reflection – Whether you’re unemployed or have discovered that your role is at risk and are now receiving outplacement support, it’s important to try and view your situation positively. Approach it as an opportunity to identify what it is you’d really like to do with your career. Take the time to reflect on your career to date; what you’ve enjoyed and what you haven’t, what motivates you, what you’d like and need from a new role in order to feel satisfied.
This self-reflection will be key to helping you understand what it is you’re after in the next stage of your career. Do you want to branch out to a whole new industry? Are you considering part-time or gig work? Taking the time to assess your career is a great way to ensure you move forward in a way that’s going to provide you with the greatest level of satisfaction.
So, if you want to be more successful in interviews or with job applications, take a step back and think – what is it I really want to do with my career? You may just find that your lack of success stems from a misaligned or misinformed approach.
Make the most of LinkedIn – In today’s world of work, LinkedIn should be central to any job hunt. And whether you’re just starting out or have had an account for many years, making the most of this invaluable platform could be the key to helping you land your dream job. But what is it you should be doing to ensure you utilise LinkedIn as effectively as possible?
Update your profile and experience sections: keeping these two sections up-to-date with relevant information and experience is essential. Remember, once an employer receives your application, there’s a high chance they’ll look for you on LinkedIn. So make sure that all the key information and experience references included in your personal documents is consistent with your LinkedIn profile.
Network: one of the most effectives ways to open doors to future opportunities. Building and interacting with your professional network is an ongoing process, and one that shouldn’t be neglected. Staying active and engaged on LinkedIn is crucial for both developing professional relationships and increasing your personal brand – and it’s a combination of these two things that will enhance your employability and improve your chances of finding a role you want.
So, as you embark on or continue with your job search, remember to tailor your applications, understand what you want from your career and stay connected. It’s also being said that candidates have more ‘power’ during the hiring process – so take the time to ensure your next role is the right one for you.