The fact is the job market is competitive, especially in our current situation. Also, many companies have slow hiring processes, or at least slower than before. With unemployment rates increasing every day, you’ll need to be extra strategic and learn to think out of the box to stand out from the rest instead of doing the usual writing a resume and clicking on the apply button. Besides, when you email or upload your resume, it goes directly into a database. There is a possibility it will be buried with many others until it fits the right keywords a recruiter is interested in. Employers are also starting to react to the current economic condition, focusing on various technologies, software, and even outsourcing people with the needed expertise instead of having to commit to hiring for the long term. It helps reduce costs hence why the hiring process today is more selective.
Does it mean you’ll be out of a job for a long time? Not if you know how to play the hiring game right! While there is no magic formula there are ways you can accelerate your job hunt and boost your chances of getting hired. Like these tried-and-proven methods:
#1 Network Like A Boss
Fact: Companies are more willing to hire someone when he or she is recommended by a person they already know. And sometimes, some jobs aren’t even advertised online so by knowing the right person, you may just get an insider lead.
But what if you don’t have a huge network or if you just graduated? Do not panic – any form of networking works! It’s all about reaching out and putting yourself out there. Friends from college, family members, family members of good friends, former professors, and academic advisors, managers from any internships or part-time jobs, the list goes on!
Remember that networking is about creating a connection, not making a hard sell. You want to leave a first good and memorable impression to ace this step. Proactively introduce yourself, get into a meaningful conversation, ask the right questions, and make sure you come prepared with a professional business card so you will leave a physical reminder of who you are.
#2 Stand Out from the Rest
Every job is different. Therefore, every job application should be different too. Put in extra effort and make sure you are using your most relevant and updated work experiences and skills. This means you will have more than one version of your resume or cover letter tailored to each position you are applying for. While you are at it, why not create a portfolio website to display your previous work and projects either at school or work. This will earn you extra points where it will showcase your skills.
Landed an interview? Always remember the most important tip on how to stand out: Dress to impress! You have probably heard it many times but you must dress for the job you want to show you’re serious about it.
#3 Expand your search
Sometimes sticking to job listings is not the best way to move forward. Try shifting your perspectives and broaden the search. Being positively active on your social media platforms can attract the right attention online – it is a form of networking as well. Who knows, you may get a recommendation or tip for job openings in the comments section. College or university career centres can also be another option to point you towards job opportunities. Also, explore roles you have never heard of. Once you get past the unfamiliar names, maybe these are roles you will be interested in and they might suit you better, opening up new opportunities that could turn out to be better than your original plan.
#4 Add New Skills & Experience
The job industry is constantly evolving and in today’s digital age and tech-driven landscape, employers have new criteria of a perfect candidate and what kind of skills should be found in a perfect resume. Papers and results are no longer enough to impress your future employers. They are on the lookout for prospects who are highly informed and someone who has the skills needed to handle all the unexpected curveballs. If you have these highly sought-after, currently trending skills, you will be able to stand out from other applicants and easily secure a job for yourself. Skills are your best ally to get your dream job. However, skills are not learned overnight.
Believe it or not, most employers will try to peek at your social media presence before offering you a job. Most candidates are even including their social handles in their resume. Take the time to clean up your profiles and include content that can demonstrate and highlight your interest and skills that are relevant for the roles that you’re applying for.
Other than that, you may also consider taking part-time jobs, applying for internships, or get yourself a freelance gig to add in more experiences and be more involved with clients and people. This will also help you hone your soft skills, and you will be competitive in the market. Any type of experience is relevant and will be an added value to your applications.
#5 Be Confident and Be Prepared
Last but not least, confidence is key! Always.
Get rid of all negative thoughts. It is hard to stay optimistic after going through rejections and being ghosted but do not lose hope and keep going until you have achieved your goals. Having a healthy amount of confidence will contribute a lot in getting you hired. Candidates who are outspoken and knows how to speak their minds will leave a strong impression during the first interview and earns a spot in the interviewer’s mind and this will result in a higher chance of getting hired. Another important thing to keep in mind is to always be prepared. Practice your elevator pitch, look for common interview questions and practice how you’re going to tackle each question brilliantly, research on the company’s background, job description, and what you’re expected to bring to the table and, prepare all the necessary documents earlier.
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