The start of a new year has long been associated with new opportunities and a new start. For many, it’s the perfect time to experience a new role but with a global pandemic taking over 2020, the jobs market is very different at the start of this year.
According the National Statistic, UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.9% in December 2020 (1.4% higher than the same period in 2019), and the ratio of applicants to job adverts is surging. This means the jobs market is much more competitive than it has been.
The good news is that there are jobs available, businesses are still hiring, and some are even thriving.
So, what can you do to give your job search the best possible chance of success?
Read our tips…
1. Ensure your CV is up to date
It might sound like an obvious point, but with the market being so competitive it is essential that you give yourself the best chance of being noticed by presenting a CV with your most current skills and recent employment. Your CV could be the catalyst to bagging yourself an interview so it is worth spending time ensuring it is not only well presented but contains all the relevant information that will set you apart from your competition.
2. Widen your search
While many sectors have been badly affected by the pandemic, there are others such as e-commerce, customer service, data led and digital industries and the healthcare sector, which are thriving. With such a huge shift in our lifestyles and the ways we now work, it is likely that upturn in these industries will continue for the long term, offering job security. Consider whether your skills are transferable to roles within these sectors and if so, widen your job search to include a diverse range of positions.
Broadening your skills set is always a good idea but now more than ever, most employers are looking for a mix of hard skills and soft skills to ensure adaptability as the marketplace is so changeable. Hard skills are measurable, taught abilities such as coding, web design, nursing and any other formal qualifications. Soft skills are additional skills that are highly sought after, particularly during these challenging times. They include, communication, team work, agility, motivation and more. In such a competitive jobs market it is worth reflecting on any gaps in your skillset and investing some time working on these to ensure you give yourself the best chance of securing a job.
4. Get familiar with online recruitment
With the shift to homeworking in 2020, video became king as so many businesses utilised various video calling platforms to stay in touch with their teams and their clients. As a recruiter, we also adapted and saw a rise in virtual recruitment and we predict it will be here for the long-term, particularly in the first stages of the interview process. For this reason, it’s sensible to get used to using online video platforms and feeling comfortable in front of the camera. We’ve written a separate blog sharing tips on video interviews which you can read here.
5. Embrace Online Networking
Networking is an element of the business world that has experienced major changes in the last year. Gone are the usual professional meet ups and industry events which presented the opportunity to meet new people, instead these have been transferred online. Without experience or confidence, online networking can feel completely alien, but it can come with lots of benefits. There are so many online professional groups, across all industries, no matter how niche. You just need to look for them. Many host free online events where you can get job leads, advice, and networking opportunities so do your research and get involved!
6. Enlist the help of the experts
Working with a recruiter can help your job search significantly. Often, we are aware of job vacancies before they’re publicly advertised as we work closely with clients all year round. This means you could get early access to the latest opportunities as well as support with tailoring your application. Furthermore, we can advise you on CV improvements as well as tips ahead of interviews giving you the best chance of success. We can also review your skills and experience and recommend any jobs in other sectors that may also be suitable, saving you all the hard work.
Although the jobs market is competitive at this time and you may face setbacks, keep positive and believe in yourself. Remember, we regularly update our website and social media pages with new opportunities so make sure you’re following @PatersonGroupUK so you don’t miss out.
If you’re looking for tailored recruitment advice and support, get in touch with our friendly and professional team today.