The jobs market is as changeable as any other part of commercial or public life. Employers' priorities change, recruitment platforms develop, skills slip into and out of demand, technology is in perpetual evolution. Job-seeking today is a far more complicated process than it was a generation ago. Occasionally it can feel like a full-time occupation.
There is no way around it. To have a chance at the best jobs in your field, you must put the work in. Every application you make needs not only to present your talent and track record in the very best light, but it must also outshine those of other candidates. We can't pretend this is easy, but we can give some pointers on how to improve your chances.
Update your Resume:
This is a vital document that you must maintain to reflect your current skills, experience, and status accurately. That doesn't mean brushing it up every six months but rather reviewing it before every single application or a simultaneous round of them. The information about you may not have changed. However, external circumstances in the economy or your field might make it necessary to re-examine wording, change emphases, or include the detail that seemed irrelevant before. As part of your review, you should proofread it painstakingly. No matter how many times you've read it in the past, there might still be a mistake or a typo lurking in there.
Focus Your Covering Letter:
There's no such thing as an all-purpose cover letter because to apply to different jobs, it would need to be generalised, and that will come across to an employer as vague or lazy, suggesting that you haven't thought in any depth about the job you're applying for or the employer you're hoping to join. Write one letter for every application.
This won't be relevant in every role, but if your profession involves work that can be shown in the form of a portfolio, be it the drafting of contracts, copywriting briefs, graphic design, PowerPoint presentations, or business pitches, make sure the samples you show are recent and demonstrate the best of your achievements. Showing what you did well a year ago carries far less weight than the excellent work you did last week.
Social Media House Cleaning:
Some studies suggest that up to 90% of employers inspect candidates' social media activity. In most newer industries, this is likely to be closer to 100%. Why? Because it's an opportunity to see you in unguarded moments. Employers aren't trying to catch you out; get an idea of the kind of person you are when you're not presenting yourself through the filter of the application process. That doesn't mean you should erase yourself from social media, but posts could benefit from judicious pruning.
The flipside of the social media question concerns LinkedIn. This is well-established as the social media platform of choice for professionals. Employers, employees, candidates, and recruiters pay close attention to the information found there. Your LinkedIn profile may not be as critical to your chances as a well-written and maintained CV, but it can only assist you if it supports the package you present in your application.
You probably feel confident in your familiarity with trends in your industry, but don't take this for granted. Even in niche industries, it's possible to miss news stories or significant developments. If these issues come up at any stage in the application process, it may reflect poorly on you if you are unaware of them and, conversely, score you points if you can talk about them in an informed way.
Don't waste opportunities by under-selling yourself or being poorly prepared. Update these areas before applying and steal a march on the competition.
Activities like creating the perfect CV and updating your LinkedIn profile might seem time-consuming, but you only have seven seconds to make that first impression and get seen. Studying the job description, researching keywords and being concise can only take you so far if you want to land that all-important interview. If you need help writing professionally and flawlessly, Build Space can help.
If you're looking for a new job, Build Space can help you make a winning first impression from CV's to Interviews. Call or email us to start finding your new job.
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