Losing your job is always challenging, but losing your job during a global pandemic is something else. Not only do you have health and financial concerns to contend with, you’re also up against an overcrowded jobs market filled with thousands of professionals, all vying for the same roles as you are.
Despite the Government’s attempt to prevent mass unemployment via their Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the number of employees on UK payroll reduced by more than 612,000 between March and May this year. Official figures also show that the number of people claiming out of work benefits in the UK has climbed to 2.8m in recent months.
With the ending of the furlough scheme commencing this October, it’s highly likely that these figures will continue to increase, as UK employers resort to permanent redundancies in order to stay afloat. When you add it all up, that’s a lot of job seekers for you to contend with and only so many jobs to go around.
Thankfully, not all is lost. It is possible to stand out from your competition, even when the market is this crowded. Keep on reading to find out how.
Create a show-stopping CV
If you start applying for roles without taking the time to update your CV with your most recent work history, skills and achievements, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. Remember, your CV is often the first thing employers or recruiters see. So, one of the most effective ways of catching their attention when they’re looking at potentially hundreds of applications is by making sure your CV is up to date and professional.
To get your CV up to show-stopping standard, make sure that it’s concise and focuses on your accomplishments, particularly from your most recent role. Another way to make sure your CV stands out from your competition is to include the right keywords to describe your skills as this is what the recruiters/employers will be looking out for. For instance, if on the job description states that the employer is looking for someone with “Microsoft Office skills” use these same keywords in your CV.
To give yourself an extra competitive edge, use this time to look for opportunities to update and learn skills that are relevant to the organisation or industry you want to work in. Once you’ve gained a new skill, get into the routine of adding it onto your CV to save you a bigger job down the line.
Refine your personal brand on LinkedIn
If you want to master modern job searching, you need to have online presence that sets you apart. It’s become the norm for recruiters and potential employers to check the LinkedIn profiles of the candidates they’re interested in to gauge if they’d be a good fit. So, to make sure their impression of you is a positive one, you need to consider how you come across online and refine your personal brand to better suit the jobs you’re applying for.
To optimise your LinkedIn profile, ask yourself what job you want to do, what your specialism is and what your key strengths are. Then take a look at your profile as a whole, from your profile picture to your posts, and consider whether your personal brand is showcasing your strengths and specialism enough. If the answer is no, now is the time to turn this around.
Just like you did with your CV, make sure you update your LinkedIn profile is updated with all of your latest skills and work experience and use relevant keywords throughout your profile, so you appear in search engines. You should also reach out to your ex-colleagues, clients or customers for written recommendations that you can add to your profile for added credibility.
Enlist the help of an outplacement service
It’s totally understandable to feel out of your depth during a time like this. Your confidence will have undoubtedly taken a knock and it can be overwhelming to know exactly what you need to do next, particularly if you’ve never been through this experience before. But rather than letting these emotions swallow you up, you can enlist the help of an outplacement serviceto help you get back onto the right track.
For those who aren’t in the know, an outplacement service gives support and advice to people who have lost their jobs and gives them the confidence boost they need to get back into the jobs market. They can give you tips on how to improve your interview technique, assist you in considering which roles and industries will best suit your skillset and give you career coaching to rebuild your self-esteem.
With so many people currently in the same situation as you, accepting some additional help and moral support during these unpredictable times can be just what you need to get noticed.
Even though the jobs market is overcrowded and unlikely to becomes reduce any time soon, there are still opportunities out there just waiting for someone with your skill set and experience. Apply our advice to your job search efforts to increase your chances of standing head and shoulders above your competition.
We’ve recently launched our dedicated Outplacement Service, geared towards getting you back in employment as soon as possible. Take a look to discover how we can bridge the gap from being made redundant to getting back into work.