Searching for a new job can be challenging at the best of times. Now, with Covid and the resulting restrictions, it is important that we are finding the roles for which we have the right skills.
We’ve put this short guide together covering some key points to help your job search. Whether you have searched for a new role within the last year or haven’t searched for a job in ten years, these will help you in your job hunt.
Why are keywords important to your job search?
Working out the keywords to include in your CV is becoming increasingly important. This is because there has been an increase in the use of applicant tracking systems (ATS). The systems will automatically scan CVs for essential role requirements by matching keywords.
A good way to identify your key words is to do a quick internet search for a job description similar to your most recent role. For example, ‘Operations Manager job description’.
You will then be able to look at the role’s requirements. Depending on the type of operation, you might find the required skills include those such as negotiation, staff management or direct reports, reporting to stakeholders – internal and external etc. These are all key skills and, therefore, keywords that you will want to include in your CV. If these are key skills that appear in more than one of your job roles, it is a good idea to repeat them throughout the CV.
Additionally, key words will also help you to search for jobs
Some job titles will differ from company to company. For example, someone with the job title Customer Care Agent would be able to search for all customer service roles. These can range from ‘Customer Service Executive’ to ‘Customer Success Associate’. Some sectors have unusual job titles such as ticket desk service agent. However, if you searched for ticket desk agent roles, you are unlikely to get as many results as you will if you identify the more general key words to use for your job search.
Should you lower your salary expectation?
The Covid jobs market is by far the most competitive we’ve seen since 2008. Perhaps more so. Largely, whether you lower your salary expectation will depend on your sector. Certain roles will not be impacted or may see increases in starting salaries. Such roles might include those in IT and healthcare.
However, many sectors have been hard hit by lockdown and covid restrictions. For this reason, you might need to lower your salary expectation or take a temporary role outside of your field.
That said, employers want to know that candidates know their market value. Therefore, you can apply for roles which are offering the same or slightly less than your current or previous salary. However, if they are roles within your field, you shouldn’t really be drastically dropping your salary expectation. If you do, you might not get the response you hope for because employers will be concerned that you would not stay with them for long. Furthermore, you run the risk of being considered overqualified.
There are still roles out there. Your focus needs to be on perfecting your CV and covering letter and searching out the roles within your field which best match your career level and skill set.