COVID-19 has created several challenges for the UK economy. Employment rates are falling at a remarkable level and the UK’s unemployment rate is likely to reach 2.6 million by the middle of 2021, according to UK government’s economic watchdog. This means that 7.5% of the working age population will be unemployed. The Bank of England has made similar predictions with unemployment rates peaking at 7.7% in April and June of 2021.
370,000 people have been made redundant in the 3 months leading up to October and searching for work can be a daunting task.
Now the good news
The good news is that there are now more ways to find work than ever before.
Most jobseekers start looking for vacancies by searching online; and although this can be an effective method, searching alone will not always get you the results you desire.
Job seekers need to think outside of the box and consider all avenues when looking for work. If you want a job, then be prepared to put yourself out there to potential employers.
Below are a few ideas to help job seekers, plus some tips and hints of what you should be doing right now to ensure that you can be found, and that you can stand out from the crowd.
Create a superb stand-out CV
There are very few job opportunities out there where an application can be made without a CV. So make you’re the CV the best you can but keep it simple. For more guidance then please read our CV writing guide.
Register on Recruitment Websites
Once the CV has been updated get this uploaded across a wide variety of websites including the following:
- Total Jobs
- CV Library
- Job Serve
- Glass Door
Once registered then also set up your profile. Include as much detail as possible and include a professional picture if so required.
Within the profile section it should also allow you to set up notifications so that job will be sent to you. This allows you to be responding and getting applications in early. Job sites are great for finding jobs, but you need to look far and wide and not just rely on this alone.
Your CV is a direct reflection of you, and the only thing that certain employers will look at when choosing who to progress to the next stage. Make an impactful first impression. CV’s don’t have to be a six-page document outlining every finite detail of your previous jobs. Make it easy to read, and tailor your CV to match the job that you are applying for. Remember, you are telling a story; where you have been, what your skill set is, and any achievements you have. Include key skills in your CV as these will be what hiring managers and recruiters will look for when searching on specific roles. When preparing your CV, always start with your most recent role and include a reason for leaving.
It should be unique, genuine, and give a true reflection of who you are from a career perspective. 2-3 pages maximum. You’ve got to consider that your CV is your personal brand; but that doesn’t mean that you should be choosing fancy fonts, wild colours, or graphics. The content is always more important than the aesthetics.
Like any story, you want them to pick it up and keep reading to the end!
Now make the online you perfect
Often when employers are recruiting, they will advertise directly on their website. Make a list of the type of companies you want to work with and do your research. Who in your local area do you want to work for? Are they recruiting? If they are not, then why not approach them to introduce yourself for future opportunities.
The next thing to do is to create an online profile. Make sure that you register with sites where you can be found. There are numerous jobs seeking websites out there which will support your search. These sites will usually have a section where recruiters and employers can find you. Be discoverable so that recruiters and employers can engage with you. You shouldn’t just rely on one site, register with a variety.
CV Library, TotalJobs, Indeed, JobSite and Monster are some of the most well-known and popular sites and are certainly a great place to start. Most sites offer a watchdog or notification function which is completely free to sign up to and alerts you directly via text or email if your profile matches a job which is then advertised through that site. It is also notable to now consider Google Jobs that was launched in August 2019, which aggregates all jobs from various websites across the web into one place. This has been shown to be a great resource for job seekers.
Next tip is to be organised. Keep a record of the jobs that you are applying for, including the closing dates and ensure to follow up on applications. Be prepared to ask for honest feedback. Ask about your application, your CV, what they liked and what they didn’t like. Then act upon it and make changes accordingly.
Another great idea to give you focus, is to put together a wish list of companies that you would like to work with. Search directly for careers or vacancies on these target company websites. Many companies have internal recruitment teams, which means that you can approach these directly. Others may have a policy that states they will need to advertise all vacancies on their websites prior to advertising externally.
Now more than ever, social media is seen as one of the strongest recruitment channels. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now even TikTok are being used to attract candidates to vacancies; candidates are similarly maximising the capabilities of social media by promoting themselves through these platforms. When it comes to searching for work via social media, I would recommend that you start with LinkedIn as a priority.
Like your CV, your LinkedIn profile gives a full breakdown of who you are and what you are all about. Make sure that your previous employment details are correct, especially the company names and the dates you were employed at each. Request recommendations from ex-colleagues and managers. Engage in content online with potential employers and show interest in companies by following them. This may also give you a head start when it comes to looking for jobs if companies are advertising via these platforms. There is also a very effective job search tool on LinkedIn which is certainly worth a look.
Facebook is also worth considering; however, it can be a tough place to look for work. Advertising certain vacancies on Facebook can be free, and you will find plenty of groups that you can join which will give you an overview of vacancies in your local area.
Searching for work in the current market can be challenging, but your approach should be methodical.
- Have a plan of what you want, and be realistic
- Make sure that your CV is on point
- Market yourself through the right websites and social media channels
- Build online profiles and set up job notifications and job watchdogs
- Keep a record of where you are applying and follow up on any applications after the closing date
- Ask for feedback and use it to your advantage to make any changes. Without feedback, how can you improve the next time you apply for a job?
Good luck and happy job seeking!