Ideal for those looking for a career change in turbulent times.
With news that unemployment is on the rise, particularly among the young, it’s certainly not an understatement to say that looking for work right now can be a time-consuming and disheartening task.
If you’re facing rejection time and time again, you might start to wonder if you’re doing something wrong. In fact, there are many reasons that employers choose to hire certain candidates over others. If it comes down to a matter of experience, the only thing you can do is focus on getting more relevant experience on your CV.
But if it’s something else that is holding you back, there may be something you can do about it. With that in mind, here are 6 ways to improve your chances of getting hired, IDEAL for those looking for a career change in turbulent times.
GET FEEDBACK ON YOUR CV
A CV is a vital part of the job application process. It’s the first thing that an employer sees, and first impressions count. It’s also an element which in the modern world is so often neglected; a surefire way to leave a candidate on the backfoot from the off.
It’s important, then, to get the tone and pitch right. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to know what is best to include in a CV. Sometimes, we can overload it with too much information that employers don’t care about, or we can include information which doesn’t sell ourselves as the ideal candidate.
Your CV is essential for getting a foot in the door, so if you’re selling yourself short on this important document, you aren’t doing yourself any favours. Ask a friend or trusted colleague for feedback on your CV to find out if you’re missing any important points; we’ve all written one, and some of us have had more success than others.
TAILOR YOUR APPLICATION TO THE ROLE
Though it might take a little bit longer, you should get in the habit of tailoring your application to the role, personalising each and every CV you send out to suit the demands of the job you’re applying for. It might mean you submit fewer applications in the same amount of time, but if these applications are more successful, it’s worth the effort.
It’s hard to blow your own trumpet and make sure you’re selling your best attributes to potential employers, so make sure you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of success. If you’re working with a recruitment consultant, they will be able to help you refine your CV for success. See this guide for more on doing just that.
You can use the same basic CV as a starting point and then tailor the key sectors like your personal statement to the role. Look at the job description to determine the areas you need to focus on.
And sure, it sounds a bit strange to advertise yourself, particularly when interviews are now defined as being a two way process, but in all honesty, that’s what the whole job-seeking process in 2020 is about. Putting your best foot forward, showing your best side…you get the picture. Now paint it.
When listing your key skills and values, go through the job description of the role you’re applying for and highlight what they want. Make sure you add these into your key skills and core competencies section. Try and give examples to show how you fit the role so they’re assured that you actually live by these values and skills, and not just say you do.
ASK FOR FEEDBACK
If you’re making it to the interview stage and then getting knocked back, firstly, check out our 5 IDEAL tips on what not to do in the interview process. Here, we give pointers on turning up just the right level of prepared, on not pretending to be perfect, on body language, punctuality, and which questions are right (and wrong) to ask in those early stages. Do have a look, once you’ve got to the end of this article, of course!
Should interview success still not be coming naturally, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for feedback from those who conducted the Q&A. Many employers will be happy to give you some pointers that will help you to work on your performance for the next interview.
Practicing your interviewing skills with a friend or family member can help you to perform better under pressure, making those quick quips and conscientious responses second nature over time. Your answers will be more relaxed and you’ll be able to focus on impressing the person in front of you.
DIVERSIFY YOUR SKILLSET
If you’re missing key skills on your CV, think about getting some extra training, not just to tick boxes and fill spaces on paper, but to bolster your genuine, bonafide potential as a candidate, too. Key skills like word processing, dexterity with spreadsheets, coding and collaboration tools are invaluable in so many roles. Excel courses are widely available and offer a great way to demonstrate your aptitude. Make sure you gain certification from a recognised organisation to help your application stand out.
Also think about demonstrating and nurturing your collection of soft skills, via voluntary ‘off the clock’ networking, and by taking courses in time management and conflict resolution, for instance. Even if you already have these skills, gaining certification will help to reassure employers of what concrete improvements you can bring to the team.
DON’T DISMISS A STOPGAP ROLE
It’s an annoying fact that it’s easier to find work when you’re in work. Employers tend to prefer someone who is already engaged in a role, even if it’s just a stopgap position. This added financial security can also remove some of the pressure faced when looking for work, preventing you from making decisions out of desperation.
When you walk into an interview thinking about your financial obligations and feeling like you “need” to land a role, it can warp your perception and cause you to sell yourself short. On the flip side, being in even a part-time role can help to take away some of this pressure and allow you to focus on the task at hand.
Getting frustrated with your job hunt will reflect poorly in your interview performance, make no mistake. Even if successes seem hard to come by, it’s important to dust yourself down, and approach each day as a new opportunity, wiping the slate clean after each failed interview.
Every time you don’t get a job, use it as a learning opportunity to figure out what you can do better next time, via feedback, further practice and self evaluation. Maintaining this type of positive mindset will help you to succeed, through both preparation and perseverance. Good luck!
And should you have been successful in your interview after this advice, do check out our 4 IDEAL ways to find job satisfaction to help restore a little balance in your life following such a stressful job search.