January is the most popular month for people seeking a new opportunity, therefore it’s no surprise that the competition between applicants is fierce. Many have re-evaluated their career choices over the holidays to pursue the ‘New Year, New Job’ goal. This is also the most popular month for many companies to source new staff, due to updated forecasts and budgets and hiring teams delaying their positions to the new year.
Why is the candidate market so competitive this year?
There are a number of reasons why the candidate market is currently at its most competitive, the main reason is likely the phenomenon called the ‘The Great Resignation.’
One of the key reasons for this work revolution is a change in employee priorities due to the pandemic. Many people are preferring the working from home structure and are therefore willing to move to a fully remote company or vice versa. A shift in priorities combined with individuals seeking new career paths or having a stronger interest in joining companies offering better benefits and enhanced salaries has resulted in many employees moving on.
A survey carried out on LinkedIn, highlighted that employee burnout, low job satisfaction at the workplace and the rise of freelancing, are also contributing to ‘The Great Resignation.’
So, how can you stand out from other applicants?
You may have applied for a position alongside many others that have the same qualifications or years of experience as you. Companies can also receive an abundance of CV’s and applications; therefore, the selection process is often ruthless.
So how can you set yourself apart from the competition? We share our advice on how you can stand out from the crowd in an already competitive market.
Optimise your LinkedIn profile
Many recruiters and employers utilise LinkedIn to search for new talent and to validate the information contained in your application, that is why building your own professional profile is essential when seeking a new role.
Your LinkedIn can offer many more benefits than a CV itself. From creating a powerful summary of your career and highlighting invaluable certifications, to gathering meaningful recommendations from previous peers and showing off your professional presentation with your profile picture. There are plenty of ways you can utilise your LinkedIn profile as an extension of your CV, to boost your chances of landing a role.
Tailor your cover letter and CV per application
This is an integral step in your job application process, and although it can be time-consuming, we promise it will be worth it. Ensure you include relevant keywords to reflect the key responsibilities outlined in the job description, and tailor your CV summary to suit each position. You should also highlight specific modules you completed at university or certain qualifications you may have that are essential for the role.
Many recruiters and employers sifting through multiple CVs in the hope to find the ideal candidate could be trying to find a needle in a haystack, so standing out at this stage of the job search is crucial.
Complete company research
Carrying out research about the company is essential, as interviewers often test your level of knowledge and understanding of the business. They are keen to know that you want to work for their organisation, not just that you need a new job with the first company that hires you.
Show your interest in their values, mention key milestones they’ve recently hit and highlight aspects of their company culture that you admire. Having a genuine interest in the company is key!
Make a great impression towards a recruiter or employer by demonstrating excellent email and phone etiquette. Being polite, professional and enthusiastic goes a long way!
Use an appropriate greeting for your emails and find out the contact's name to ensure a formal yet personable approach. Remember to also proofread emails you send back and forth to potential employers, to make sure you have fixed spelling and grammatical errors. A great tool to help with your grammar and spelling is ‘Grammarly’. Demonstrating great communication etiquette will allow you to build a strong professional relationship with your recruiter or potential employer and could make you a cut above the rest.
Willingness to learn
Employers could find it difficult to differentiate or make a choice between two very similar CV’s. An element that really stands out to employers and recruiters is the applicants own commitment to gaining additional certifications and their willingness to learn.
Maybe you’re pursuing a particular career path and keen to brush up on your knowledge? Or looking to change career and require additional certifications to boost your skillset? Having legitimate certifications could be the deciding factor between you and a fellow applicant.