How to change your job hunting strategy and what you can do as a candidate to stand out in the 2020 UK job market?
With the growth of technology the concept of the traditional career path has changed. Jobs which were once deemed as secure are now much less so. Job longevity, so sought after by employers is no longer feasible with the average job lasting between two and four years. Partly this is due to millennials and their reluctance to stay with one company indefinitely. Secondly there is no longer the stability in the job market previous generations were once used to.
Companies which would once invest in the development of their employees to retain their knowledge and expertise are now much less reluctant to do so. The changes in the economy and the volatile job market make it impossible for the a company to offer a stability in the role. Therefore the career is now in your hands only and not the hands of your company.
Companies have changed their focus to hiring skilled contractors who can solve problems they have without needing to invest in their career. You are not valuable to an employer if you don’t have the skillset they need anymore. If you find that you are not developing your skillset within your current job, now is the right time to assess your career strategy. You need to be prepared in case you find yourself on the job market. Invest in your training and education and update your skills, both soft and technical. If work doesn’t provide you with learning opportunities search online for free courses, use LinkedIn learning and do your research. Remember your career is in your own hands.
The job new market is becoming more and more project based. The focus is on the skill and not the job title anymore. It doesn’t matter what you did last 10 years but what skills you have to offer to the company now and in the future. It is a market of uncertainty and you can view it in one of the two ways; a risk to your career or an opportunity.
6 Tips to help you stand out and succeed in your job hunt strategy in the uncertain UK job market
- Start with building your network and your connections to help you get your profile in front of the right people. Companies will most likely access their own networks and the networks of their employees via a referral system first. This is to attract new talent without paying any agency fees. Most companies will only advertise roles and go through agencies when they exhaust the referral route.
- Set up or review your LinkedIn profile and connect with people who can help you and recommend you if there are suitable opportunities available. Follow groups and forums you are interested in or which can benefit your career and enhance your skills. Post articles and share posts to increase your online presence. Comment on interesting posts and offer your expertise where relevant. Position yourself as a brand or a business that can solve a need or a problem by giving free advice.
- Update your technical skills by doing courses and free learning but don’t forget your soft skills e.g. communication skills. Soft skills are in demand as much as the technical skills so invest in these too.
- Make sure your profile and experience are clear so the company knows what you have to offer. Make your CV and profile tailored to the role you are applying for. Highlight your niche or expertise by using the right keywords. Remember to show you are a specialist who can solve a company’s needs.
- Join the right recruitment or headhunting agencies. These people are experts, they will send your profile for the roles in their network but bear in mind they are there to serve the client. You as a candidate are secondary and they will only send your CV if you are a perfect match for the role the client is advertising. Again make sure you don’t send a generalist profile but focus on being the specialist in whatever you are doing.
- Don’t be afraid to take time to rethink your career, ask for help, find a mentor or a coach. Get some clarity on what is important to you in your job or career and start taking action towards it.
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