A major outcome of the pandemic is that there are now more job seekers than there are available jobs. However, whilst it is challenging for job seekers there are some positive signs and there are still opportunities available.
Temporary work always picks up in recession as organisations reflect on what resource they need to bring them through this time and how they ramp up to meet demand. We are starting to see growth in permanent opportunities, particularly in our Tech, Accountancy and HR specialisms. Whilst things are still uncertain, there is no reason why you can’t put forward the best version of you in the job-seeking process.
We have compiled a list of top tips to support you as you look for your next opportunity. Whether you have come to the market for a new role by choice or by redundancy, there are some things you can do to stand out from the crowd.
Tip #1: Set your goals.
Know what you want to achieve. Applying for every job available is like throwing your CV at the wall to see what sticks. It rarely works and could alienate recruiters and future employers. Have a clear purpose of what you are trying to achieve.
Tip #2: Tailor your CV and cover letter to each job.
This will make your application relevant and will demonstrate to the recruiter that you have read the profile and know what you are getting yourself in to!
Tip #3: Show your personality.
Use your cover letter to get across your personality. Use that space to talk about your strengths, what you are passionate about and demonstrate how you will benefit the organisation that you are applying too. Always be professional, but use your strengths to stand out from the crowd.
Tip #4: Make your online profile sparkle.
Think of your job search as a marketing campaign and spend some time in polishing your online brand. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is sparkling and remember to update regularly. These are living breathing documents and give you the opportunity to keep them fresh. Ask for recommendations. Check and review how you come across on other social media platforms, especially if they are not private and secure.
Tip #5: Research every aspect of the organisation.
There is no reason not to know everything you can about the organisation you are applying to. Research their website, review their social media feeds, check their profile on Companies House and view their people on LinkedIn. A google search may turn news articles. Many organisations now have “Work for us” type web pages, which will show what it is like to work there.
Tip #6: Try before you buy!
Where you can, see if you can understand what it is like to be a customer of their organisation. This might mean experiencing a product or service, but will give you the best insight into the organisation, how it treats its customers and how it works. Moreover, it will be a great talking point at the interview as you will be able to share your experience with them.
Tip #6: Connect and communicate.
Build and use your network of contacts. Don’t hide behind online applications, talk to people you know and make them aware you are free to work. Give your connections a call and get to know people at organisations you would like to work at. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and get networking – there are many organisations offering this by Zoom at the moment, so COVID 19 shouldn’t be stopping you from networking.
Tip #7: Make a good first impression.
If you get an interview, make sure you know how to get there, the nearest parking or public transport and give yourself plenty of time to arrive slightly early. Research the dress code and dress appropriately for an interview. If you are lucky enough to have had an interview and you really want the job, then follow-up. A thank you to your interviewers goes a long way to making a good impression.
Tip #8: Look after yourself
When you are looking for a new job it will be tough. Don’t spend all day looking for jobs, plan your time, particularly if you are working remotely alongside your job search. Set yourself up with a daily routine - get up each day, get dressed! Find at least 10 minutes before you sit in front of your computer to stretch or exercise. Make time for exercise, do something different, go for a walk and enjoy nature. Whether you are topping up your knowledge for your career or kicking back with your favourite classic or losing yourself in a good crime thriller, read some books and resist the urge to sit in front of the TV for hours.
Tip #9: Be resilient.
Quoting American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Finding a new role can often be a long game. Resilience is key to job-seeking as there will be plenty of knocks, but you only need one job, so stick with it and do everything you can to be resilient.
There are many tips here, so do not feel you have to do them all. If you improve one thing, then you have taken a step forward. This whole process can be overwhelming so it is important to take it one step at a time.
Judith has worked in marketing for 20 + years across a range of industries from health and fitness, horticulture, GIS software, education and now recruitment. Judith joined Pure in 2017 and is responsible for marketing the business, marketing strategy and delivering initiative campaigns.