2020 has been a difficult year so far for jobseekers. With 342,000 fewer vacancies available in March – May this year compared to the previous quarter it has felt like opportunities are few and far between. However, that is all starting to change as the economy begins to open up again. As pace picks up in the UK jobs market there will be a lot of competition for each role so it’s essential that you’re ready to stand out.
- Improve your online profile. This usually begins with LinkedIn – make sure your photo is an open and smiling image and check all the details you’ve included to ensure they are correct. Update your experience, work history, skills and summary so that all present a strong picture of who you are and what you can do. To work with LinkedIn’s algorithms it’s also important to make sure you switch on the setting that indicates you’re looking for work and that when people get in touch you’re prompt in your replies.
- Do some research. The first place to start is looking at those companies in your industry that are currently actively recruiting. If there are organisations you want to work for that are not currently doing this then try to find out what their hiring plans were pre-COVID and how this has now shifted. Work with a recruitment agency or your contacts and get as clear a picture as possible.
- Make each job application individual. Adjust your CV for each application so the information relevant to that role is easy to find. Use a cover letter to provide a summary of your skills and experience and communicate to the company why it is you want to work for them. Don’t limit yourself to only those businesses that are recruiting – speculative applications can often pay off. With this in mind you might even want to consider businesses in a different industry where new opportunities might lie.
- Prioritise your wellbeing. You’ll find it much easier to make focused applications and be confident at interview if you feel good about yourself, physically and emotionally. Make sure you’re eating well and staying hydrated. Especially if you’re at home it’s important to make sure that you get enough exercise – this can also give you an endorphins boost too. Free courses and online development programmes can help you to develop new skills and increase your confidence.
- Stay focused on what you want. When you’re job searching, a structure can be really useful. Make sure your expectations are positive but realistic given the current circumstances and the impact of COVID-19. Stick to a daily schedule and set objectives that are in line with what you want to achieve. Practice for the hiring process, especially when it comes to interviewing – it’s essential to be ready to move when the opportunities arise.
If you are looking for a new role then standing out is going to be key and these tips can help you to do just that.