How to Stand Out in the Current Job Market

by Gemma Smith

The job market is tough. We don't need to explain the reasons why but hopefully we can help you with your job search. Even if there is one small thing in the list below that assists you in your search, or this provides you with the reassurance that what you are doing is right, we will be pleased. 

Tips to help you stand out and secure an interview:

1. Linkedin 

If you have not already registered on LinkedIn then you must sign up! Employers will look at your CV and then your LinkedIn profile. Make sure it is fully up to date and offers, not just a repeat of your CV but insights into you. Employers are looking to learn more about you. Some ideas on how to do this include:

  • Posting or sharing articles. These can be related to your role or industry sector or can be about you and the things you care about.
  • Recommendations. This is so important! Ask current or previous colleagues to recommend and write something about you. It can also be external clients you have worked with. 
  • Make connections with people in your industry sector and join relevant groups. You will appear in more searches made by employers and recruiters looking to hire, as well as have a better opportunity to view posts and stay close to what is happening in your market sector. Joining groups has a similar impact and also demonstrates your interests to potential employers.
  • LinkedIn shares their top tips here: https://business.linkedin.com/en-uk/marketing-solutions/blog/posts/content-marketing/2017/17-steps-to-a-better-LinkedIn-profile-in-2017
  • Make sure you also follow companies you'd like to work for and apply to jobs that are of interest. You will then go on to receive email alerts when a suitable position is posted.

2. Your CV

The CV has always been important and continues to be the main way to secure a role. Make sure it is clear, not too lengthy (2-3 pages is ideal), well formatted and make sure you use bullet points so that content is digestible. Our preference is to have clear points and successes from your career at the top rather than a general career summary. Use mainly industry-specific keywords and hard skills. 

Showcase your softer skills but make it succinct and remember everyone writes these - they will only stand out with examples. Another tip is when describing your duties, highlight the challenges you've faced and how you overcame them. List your achievements.

3. Networking

Maintain connections and establish new ones. Get in touch with previous employers and colleagues, they may be able to provide you with market information or details of hiring managers that they know. Friends and family may also be able to help. Many opportunities are secured by networks. Get yourself out there! 

4. Build your skill set

The only constant in the job market is change. By updating your skills, it will make you adaptable. 

This can be your technical skills, for example in accountancy brushing up on IFRS or in HR your CIPD. You can self-teach via articles, videos and free information on the internet or take a course. This doesn't need to be costly either, for example there are free courses on Open University or you can join LinkedIn Learning for the first month for free.

You can also build your softer skills, maybe do an audit of yourself? Be honest about where you can improve areas such as communication, organisation, leadership and emotional intelligence. There are huge number of books you can read or listen to.

Future employers will be keen to hear about what you have been doing to change and adapt. Being motivated to build your skills demonstrates your drive to secure a role and work. 

5. How you handle rejection is important

The job market is very hard so staying positive is key. If you keep going and make small goals for yourself each day then it's much more likely that opportunity will come. For example, it could be that you call 2/3 people a day or make 10 new connections on LinkedIn. However, you decide to approach it, don't give up. 

It won't be easy but businesses are hiring.  The market, dare I say it, has picked up in recent weeks and by doing everything you can to make yourself stand you are more likely to obtain interviews and secure a new role. 

Good luck!