Looking for a new career or job? This is a tough climate for job hunting but with the right know-how you can still get noticed and land your dream role.
Angel Kilian Founder of Career inFocus shares inside info on the three critical factors to consider when you are job hunting. Her tips on how to make yourself stand out from other applicants will put you closer to finding that new job.
2020 has brought many changes to all of us. Our homes now double-up as meeting rooms, and industries have changed all together. Over these past months, more than ever, my clients have asked me how to land a job during these unprecedented times. And where COVID-19 has changed the world around us, many didn’t realise that when it comes to getting that dream role – being a top contender in the hiring process has been different for some time. So whether you are looking to pivot your career or head back into the workforce, standing out in new and innovative ways has never been more important.
Three critical factors when job hunting
Wherever you are in your job search process, there are three critical factors to help you succeed. First, soul search before you job search. Try to define for yourself what it is that you want from a job but also the type of company you’re interested in. For instance, you could see an incredible role, but if the company doesn’t endorse a balanced work schedule things might still not work out in the long run.
Second, communicate your strengths and worth succinctly and tailored to the role you’re applying for. To stand out, you want your resume to highlight what is most relevant instead of mentioning every skill you’ve gained throughout your career.
Finally, get in front of the right people. People that matter. This might require some creativity in expanding your network, especially if you don’t know anyone on the inside. There are tons of great platforms available today to establish a valuable connection and help you get on top of the pile.
Job hunting – know what you are looking for
Before you even start your search, my biggest recommendation is to be specific on what you are truly looking for. A job is more than just a title. Are you willing to put in long hours, or do you look for work-from-home arrangements? Do you want to lead teams, or are you happy to go deep into your vertical? Very often I get clients that say “I want to be a product manager”. On the outset this sounds great, but what components truly make you tick? Ask yourself what you are really looking for. Make a list and write down essentials and “nice to haves” if this helps you. This way you get clarity, define your internal brand and will be able to find suitable roles quicker and easier.
Communicate your value add
Once you are clear on what is right for you, it’s time to be sharp in communicating your value add. When you apply for a role, think of yourself as a consultant trying to solve a business case. The role you’re after will definitely come with challenges and opportunities. Always dial up what’s relevant to the role and sell your unique traits so that the recruiter feels only you can come up with a solution. Moreover, pivoting your career into a new industry is definitely feasible, but you need to dial-up relevant and transferable skills.
Stand out from other applicants
With all the ground work done, resume rewritten and online profiles updated, the next step is to “get out there”. However, a regular online job application has a less than 5% success rate. This means that when you submit your resume online, all your hard work and effort is put together with tons of other applicants. Would it not be better to be able to address your application to someone particular, ensuring your hard work is actually seen?
One advice I often give my clients is to unleash their inner Sherlock Holmes and connect with people who are part of the team you wish to join. Platforms such as LinkedIn are great to learn about industry trends, but are particularly great for establishing new connections. More often than not, people are happy to connect. The key however is to be relevant when you reach out. This perhaps requires some homework on your part. Look if you have shared contacts for someone to make an introduction? Or perhaps you have similar business interests? Establishing a connection on the inside can be daunting but ever so valuable. In the end, what’s better than an internal referral?
Times have changed but with a bit of creatively and perseverance, landing that dream job is still very much in reach. Over the past months, I’ve been able to help clients to land jobs that facilitated to work entirely remote (on a tropical island), secure a promotion, and change industries. What they had in common was a fresh approach and trying new methods to stand out from a busy talent landscape.