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Getting ahead of the competition

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​The global pandemic has not only changed the way we work and reshaped the job market, but its legacy is set to unleash increased activity in the employment market, and if you’re looking to make a move this year, then you need to be ready for more than just a regular job search.

Aside from the usual competition for roles, the market is going to be rocked by furlough coming to an end; strong candidates who have lost their jobs as a result of the economic downturn; and employees leaving their jobs if they aren’t guaranteed to retain the flexibility of remote working that they have become accustomed to. Add into the mix the new ways of hiring that have been adopted, such as video interviewing, and suddenly your job search is looking very different from the last time you were on the market. That said, there are still some tried and tested steps that you should take that will make finding opportunities easier and that will give you a head start on the competition. Here are our top four.

1. Network online

Networking in person hasn’t been an option for a long time and this has further cemented LinkedIn as the primary shop window for talent. It’s crucial that you get your LinkedIn profile as polished as possible – we are often asked to help candidates with this, as it’s not as easy as you think. You need a clear, concise summary that immediately draws people in, as well as an abundance of skills and achievements when you detail your roles to date. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations and join groups to enhance your profile. Even though remote working has made browsing for jobs online easier with no colleagues seeing your screen or search history, don’t forget to pay attention to your LinkedIn privacy settings if you’re updating your profile – a sudden impressive update could be a red flag to your current employer.

2. Prep your CV

It may seem an outdated concept given the popularity of LinkedIn as an online substitute, but a CV is still vital for applications. It needs to be up to date, honest, and have zero mistakes. A clear, eye-catching personal statement is as important as your LinkedIn summary, but what makes a CV different is that you can tailor it to the company or role you’re applying for. Focus on the skills and experience they want to see as this will show you have done your research on the role. Don’t forget to include recently acquired tech skills and experience as these are in high demand, as are soft skills.

3. Get comfortable with tech

The move to remote working has been a sharp learning curve for everyone, but even a year or so down the line we still hear “I think you might be on mute” at least once a day. Face-to-face interviews are tough enough situations, but meeting people for the first time online and having to perform to interview standards from your home, with an intermittent connection can be a nightmare. It’s worth spending time to hone your digital setup and how to use various platforms, so that tech worries can be taken out of the equation. There’s nothing worse than having to install a niche communication app at the last minute because your interviewer doesn’t trust Zoom’s security or can’t work Teams well.

4. Recruiters and job boards

While you can do it alone, a professional recruitment consultant and registering with the right job boards can save you a lot of time. Do some research on recruiters to find a specialist in your target sector and solicit recommendations from peers who have had a positive experience with them. They are likely to be significantly more connected in your area than you are and will be able to advise you on the aspects you can’t glean from a job description, such as the company culture. A credible recruiter will also speak to you outside of your work hours if necessary and be discreet with your applications, understanding the sensitivity surrounding your current employer and colleagues.

If you’re thinking of moving jobs and need any advice on any of the above, we’d be very happy to chat in complete confidence.