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  • Writer's pictureDan Malkoun

Tips for candidates to improve your marketability


With the latest REC/KPMG report into the jobs market showing continued headwinds within the economy and political uncertainty stifling the outlook for job hunters, what can you do to improve your chances of landing a new job?

Many employers have deferred hiring decisions until the outlook improves but there are jobs yet out there which need filling and which employers are struggling to hire for.  Last year some 80% of employers reported difficulties in finding suitable staff despite increasing numbers of work seekers.  This is due mainly to a skills shortage amongst those looking for work and therein lies the answer. 

To contextualise this approach, it is far easier to update generic skills than actually retrain in a career.  Enhancing your existing skills with free Microsoft or Google certificates which can be gained within a week is a starting point.  This is an “easier win” than starting from scratch and attempting to become a certified trades person which takes significantly longer. 

Undertaking courses in AI (ChatGPT for example) to learn how you could perform in a role more efficiently is likely to impress more on a CV and subsequently at interview than someone who isn’t unaware of developments in opensource technology. 

Or it could be that that you learn about project management (PM) methodology.  Most PM courses offer introductory levels which would be sufficient to deliver client benefit as opposed to undertaking full professional user level accreditation. 

Updating your Excel skills (still the engine room of many office processing tasks) is another way to demonstrate that you are keen to show you have gained a competitive edge over those that haven’t taken time to invest in themselves.  

Some good news is that opportunities to upskill yourself have never been more prevalent and most of these paths for self-upskilling are free except for your time. 

Now, imagine yourself as an employer looking to hire!  What would you think when comparing applications of candidates who have recognised the need for self-development and achieved basic upskilling against those who haven’t?  

These upskilling recommendations apply to both permanent and immediately available candidates. 

If you are a contractor and out of work, another consideration might be worth considering is gaining an enhanced DBS check.  Formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) it costs £50-£60, last 12 months broadly speaking and enables you to be considered for immediate work in a range of roles you could not work in such as schools, the NHS or charities.  Depending in the role some banks or companies which deal with sensitive data which requires staff to be vetted also could be become more attainable.

With the prospect of a dampened hiring climate for some time yet looking to improve your skills increases your marketability. 

For an informal discussion about any of these suggestions feel free to contact us at amdas for free career advice.

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