How to land a job in tough job market

It’s a statement of the obvious that the job market, for the foreseeable future, is going to be very difficult. Not only are there going to be fewer roles to be filled but also there will be a surge in demand from people looking to switch roles and industries into something new. The airlines, the travel and hospitality industries, for example, will be pitching many highly qualified and able professionals and leaders into looking for new types of role and into different industries.

There are a number of ways in which you can optimise your chances of securing a new role in these difficult conditions:

Think through your brand

It’s vital to be able to articulate crisply and clearly who you are and what you stand for. You may think it’s helpful to describe the full scale and breadth of what you’ve done in the past and to show that you’re open to a range of new challenges. In practice this isn’t helpful in looking for a job. Whoever you’re talking to needs to be able to sum you up and place you mentally in a role within minutes. Don’t start your campaign for a new role until you’ve taken the time to nail the message you want to put out.

Properly think through your options

Take the time, at the beginning of your job search, to think broadly and creatively about what you want to do with the rest of your career. Very often this is a good time for reflection which will not come along again any time soon. Challenge your assumptions about how much you need to earn, what you want your working life needs to look like and what you get most enjoyment from. Not all possibilities will be practicable but take your time to do some blue-sky thinking.

Take time to make all your communication simple and short

Everything you show to the world about yourself, CV, LinkedIn profile, covering letters, emails and the like need to be simple, clear and visually appealing. Your image is key. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, you need to “take the extra time it takes to write a short note”. Everything you send out will be read in seconds, that’s how long you have to make an impact.

Network like your life depends on it

It’s a truism that the vast majority of job seekers at professional or leadership levels find their next role through people they already know, one way or another. Think about who you know, however distant they are from you who may be able to connect you to a new role. If you’re not a natural networker or if you’ve never had to use your network just go for it. You’ll be amazed at how open people are to helping you. Don’t go with a begging bowl but ask to pick their brains about what they’re seeing in the market. Talk about mutual connections and where they now work. The more senior the people you can network with, the more powerful the connection will be for you.

Get to know the recruiters who can help you

It’s vital to understand the recruitment market. Which firms specialise in which roles? Which individuals within these firms specialise in which types of roles? What’s the most compelling connection you can find to make your introduction to the recruiters you want to get to know? Keep in touch with your target recruiters but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to pester or appear to be needy but you need to stay front of mind.

Target companies that may have roles to suit you

Don’t just rely on advertised roles or recruiters. If there are obvious companies that interest you, find ways of networking into these companies directly.

Pace yourself

Finding a job is a full-time job in itself and it will take time, in all probability, in this market. Mentally set yourself realistic timescales so that you’re not piling unnecessary pressure on yourself to land your next role within days. It’s important to retain your composure and confidence so that you can project the best version of yourself to the outside world.

Stay strong

There will be times when you will doubt yourself. You will encounter many people who don’t bother to reply to your emails or return your phone calls. There will be times when you are buoyed by positive meetings only to find that people don’t do what they said they would for you. Just remember there is nothing personal in this. It’s just the way things are. Expect it, brush it off and work with it. You will get there, it just takes time and resilience.”

After almost 30 years in business we have successfully supported thousands of people to make their next career move, including during times of global recession and prolonged economic uncertainty. We know that our way works, and we have the success stories to prove it. To find out more about how we can support you during this Covid-19 outbreak, including our virtual ‘as long as it takes’ programmes, click here.

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