Advice for candidates

Struggling to find a new job role can be frustrating at the very least and affect your confidence at the worst. If you have followed all of the usual online advice and perfected cover letters and CVs highlighting how and why you have the right skills for each of the jobs to which you have applied, then please listen when we say, ‘It’s not you, it’s the market.’

There couldn’t have been a more brutal contrast between the jobs market in January and the jobs market of now. Back in January, talent was scarce, and companies were entering bidding wars on salaries. Now, according to data from CV-Library, we are seeing 25 candidates per available role.

The ONS data seems to support this with vacancies almost halving in the period to May 2020. However, this has yet to be updated since lockdown has been lifted so maybe worth keeping an eye on as things could improve.

Do not be discouraged

Given the above, hunting for a job might feel like an onerous task. But there are still jobs out there. Yes, there is higher competition, but it doesn’t mean there are not any jobs at all.

If it is a case of having to find a role right now, there are industries that are hiring such as manufacturing, food retail, deliveries, and care. If you are not in a hurry, then patience and determination will be key.

Transferable Skills

Whether you are looking for immediate work or to make a longer-term change, the trick to changing industry is to ensure you are highlighting your transferable skills. Perhaps under your key skills, you have a list of bullet points that are specific to your most recent role and industry. This is the place where you will need to think about how your skills might be transferable to the role for which you are applying. Look at what the job advert specifies as key skills and match it to your experience. If it is asking for great customer service, think about customer or client interactions you have had. Then tailor your CV to highlight these areas with this specific term both under key skills and under the work history section of your CV.

Example:

Key Skills

  • Confident Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management

Recruitment Consultant, Company Name, 02.06.2017 – 02.06.2020

Communication

  • Delivered excellent customer service through ensuring the client was kept up to date via phone, email and face to face meetings

Teamwork

  • Liaising with the manager and other consultants to ensure team targets are on track and fulfilled
  • Work with clients to understand their requirements eg. formulate job descriptions and adverts
  • Time Management
  • Organised interviews and conducted interviews within 1-hour slots
  • Diary Management
  • Maintained CRM
  • Etc, etc

 

An absolute must when applying to a different industry is to ensure you strip out any jargon. In the example above, you would certainly take out ‘CRM’ and replace it with ‘database’. Of course, all industries will have their own jargon too, but you need to keep your description clear, concise, and as accessible as possible.

Your Wellbeing

For many of us, being out of work can lead us to feel things that are not that comfortable. There is also the added stress of money worries. Most likely, the last thing you will think you will have time to do is relax and unwind. But this is essential for your wellbeing. Sticking to your routine as much as possible and doing a little meditation may not secure you a new role, but these are the things that can help you to stay motivated in your search.

Work Your Network

As we all know by now, LinkedIn is a valuable tool for companies and recruiters. This is the first port of call platform because it allows people to keep up with their professional network. Keep in contact with your recruiter connections here and with companies you are interested in working for. You will also want to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is view ready. Read our other blog for how best to update your LinkedIn profile.

Contacting your network includes us by the way! As the adage goes, a problem shared is a problem halved and we would love to help where we can. While we can’t guarantee the roles, we have right now will be suitable, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be a suitable role in the future. Have a look at our team page for our contact details.