Finding a job isn’t easy, but figures suggest the position is gradually improving. It’s a good time to focus on getting that job you really want. The competition is still strong, though, so anything you can do to make yourself stand out is well worth it. Here are five suggestions.
Update Your CV
A CV should be constantly refreshed and updated, since what employers are looking for changes fast. A few suggestions:
- Keep up with articles on employment websites to find out what’s currently fashionable.
- Have more than one CV, depending on the post and the employer.
- For more forward-thinking employers, consider using techniques like graphs and tables, instead of a bland list. You could even build a personal website featuring your employment history and goals.
It’s not what you know, the old saying goes, it’s who you know. Most employers get a mountain of applications, and the applicants they’re going to look at closest are those recommended by an already valued employee.
It doesn’t have to be your best friend. If you’re interested in a company, try to make contact on social media with key personnel — those who most often write the company’s blogs for instance. Don’t stalk them, but if they’ve seen you’re interested (and interesting) you might just get that recommendation.
Boost Your Confidence
We all have fears and uncertainties, and some of these may be preventing you from landing a job. One effective way of dealing with your fears is to make a list of them, in writing. For each fear, identify what experiences in the past have reinforced it and what strategies you’ve used to overcome it. To understand your fears is to have power over them.
Know the Job
An employer is more likely to take someone who needs little training. If you’ve done a similar job before, emphasise your skills. Otherwise, research what the job will entail, so you can discuss it knowledgeably, and identify any transferable skills you have.
The thing to avoid, though, is coming over as a know-it-all. The company will have its own way of doing things, so convey your flexibility to adapt to that.
Show Your People Skills
There are few jobs now where you’ll just be left to get on with using some technical skill, without human contact. Employers want someone who has good people skills, whether that involves dealing with clients, getting on with your colleagues or showing initiative and leadership.
The more people skills you can demonstrate — in the interview particularly — the more chance you have of getting the job.