Are you equipped for the competitive job market?

For some time the recruitment market slowed down, all of us in the recruitment industry held our breaths as we watched the UK economy experience changes and fluctuations.


We asked questions, we watched the news, we communicated with our networks and joined webinars. All the while the pandemic was changing our working world for good. 

One of our biggest questions was, what can we do for our job seekers/candidates who had been working so hard in finding their dream job? Now it appears businesses are starting to make movements again, and with that comes job roles opening up that had been paused for several months. The only difference now from how it was back in early March is the market is even more competitive. 

Those are cold hard facts that felt important to share with you. With so much uncertainty all around the world, it is no wonder why people are not feeling secure right now. The one thing we can say is that if you are someone looking to enter the job market, be prepared to use much more than just your CV to get your next job. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are a number of things that can make you employment ready and they won’t cost you a penny, you just have to be willing to put in the time for it.

We can’t mention job hunting without bringing up your CV. We know we said you’ve got to use more than just your CV to get in with the company you’re wanting to work for, but that is a good place to start.

It’s one of the tickets that will grant you access on the employment train. It’s a good practice to do even if you’re not looking for another job, to have an up-to-date CV. It’s a good way of reviewing the responsibilities of your current role as well as an opportunity to revisit your key successes on the job. Put it this way, even if you were lined up for a promotion at your current job, you’d still need to submit your CV, so it’s not wasting your time doing this activity, it just keeps you ahead of the game. Now, if you’re thinking of changing jobs or finding a new role, re-do your CV to make sure it’s tailored to meet the necessary criteria’s for the job. This is one good way to get ahead of other applicants. Are there key responsibilities you want to have? Do you aspire for progression? The CV you used to get your most recent role might not be suitable for this new one therefore you need to tailor it in a way that will put you in a better light for it. If you wish to learn more on how to tailor your CV to a particular role, read our previous article here.

Once you’ve updated your CV you should really think about your personal branding. There are quite a few things that come under this category. Look at how you use LinkedIn currently, are you using it the right way? If you don’t know the answer, take a look at our previous LinkedIn article that explains how to operate the platform step by step.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool you can use in creating a brand for yourself as well as networking. We’ve said in the past that it’s a good practice to find out who the hiring manager is for a role you’re applying for. If you’re able to find out, then it’s only right to contact them personally (usually LinkedIn is the best place to do this through) and write them a brief message introducing yourself and mentioning that you are submitting or have submitted an application to a role they’re recruiting for. It will help the hiring manager find out more about you, shows how proactive you are in your job search and your interest in the role and company. It may encourage them to look out for your application and hopefully, pay more attention to it. LinkedIn is also a good space for you to do more research into the industry you’re looking to go into/or are already in. By sharing regular content or interacting on other people’s posts it helps you build up an audience and make connections that you wouldn’t otherwise have had within your networks. Plus it gives you the opportunity to learn more about others outside of your community. Despite the masses of different sectors around the world, the one thing we have noticed is that LinkedIn communities are still relatively small so building up strong networks can really help you out during your job hunt.

But it isn’t just interacting on LinkedIn that is important. Much like having a well-tailored CV, you should make a good habit of keeping your profile updated. Please, do not copy and paste what is on you your CV but instead keep it different, of course, you will have the same skills but is there a way of wording it better? You can go into more depth about your role on LinkedIn than you can on your CV so try to describe your experience differently but at the same time don’t go overboard and write too much. Keep it top line – share what you’re most proud of. Really try to showcase those amazing skills that you have and utilise your networks to add recommendations on your page from people you’ve worked with or for. Often current or former colleagues are happy to recommend you if you’re willing to do the same for them so use the motto – sharing is caring! 

Have you got a cover letter yet? Yes, we know we’re talking a lot of admin right now, but these are the things that will cut your job search time down. If it’s ready now, you won’t need to do much leg work later. Have it prepared and all you have to do is tailor it to a specific role or sector later. Remember that there is a high chance that there will be a lot of people applying for that same role, so what you can do is be one step further than your competitor.

If possible, have your references ready. You can have some truly great experience but if your timekeeping skill is slack and you’re not quick enough to jump on a job opportunity then you may miss out against your competitor. 

Bringing you back to networking – during the lockdown we’ve found an increase in attendance to webinars and virtual conferences. Attend these, look for free ones you can join, this is a particularly great option once you find ones related to the work of your interest. Just sitting in one of these virtual conferences where they have the facility to chat with the host and also other guests is a great way to network further. Ask questions, engage, show your interest, be polite. These are all aspects of brand promotion that will get your name out there.

Then there’s looking into gaining new skills or improving on existing ones. With the rise in demand for alternatives to face-to-face courses and in-person training sessions, there are now so many free resources you can use to get those new skills you’ve been wanting to work on. Better yet we’ve seen a rise in diploma and qualifications you can actually do online for free! This is a great opportunity to build up your skills and make yourself more employable.   

Everything we’ve suggested requires time and effort but this is the investment that you need to make on yourself so that you can put your foot in the door for the role you want.  

We know it’s a tough road right now for job hunters but the new opportunities are out there! Equip yourself with further skills and raise your confidence. The job market is competitive and tough right now, but you are tougher.

Invest in yourself, we promise it will be worth it.


ABL Recruitment team



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