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5 tips to help you stand out when job hunting during Covid-19

11 Aug 2020

Job hunting in the Covid-19 era? Jane Donnelly and other recruitment experts at Hays share their top tips to help you stand out from the crowd.

Professionals embarking on their job search at this time may be feeling more unsettled considering the ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While we’re certainly in challenging times, there’s no reason why jobseekers should put finding a new job and furthering their career ambitions on hold.

According to data from the latest Hays Quarterly Insights survey, 43pc of employers in the UK are actively recruiting – a rise from 31pc in May.

However, the volume of applications to roles has increased and competition is high for jobseekers. So, what do today’s candidates actually need to know to secure their next role? Here, recruiting experts at Hays share their advice.

1. Be open while job hunting

Going into your job search today requires an open mind. The ongoing global situation has inevitably caused changes in demand across skills and industries, so try to be flexible and perhaps look outside your usual field.

Consider what factors you are willing to compromise on and what factors will be integral to your workplace wellbeing and career goals. If you’re working with a recruiter, make sure they know what these are, so they don’t pass you up for a promising opportunity just because it didn’t match all of your criteria.

2. Give LinkedIn a refresh

“Consider LinkedIn a living, breathing version of your CV which is accessible for employers to discover more about you,” says Barney Ely, regional managing director at Hays.

Click here to visit the Hays Viewpoint blog.

“When used properly, your LinkedIn profile can help you establish your professional identity, grow your network and share content, all of which will make you stand out to potential employers.

“LinkedIn is certainly the main platform used by recruiters and hiring managers and is worth investing some time in to make sure it’s up to scratch.”

3. Tailor your applications

At this time, it’s really worth doing some research so you can tailor your applications accordingly. Organisations and entire industries have gone through an incomprehensible amount of change in recent months, so read up on what impacts the pandemic might have had which are relevant to where you’re applying.

This insight will come through in your application and also give you vital context for discussion if you go through to an interview.

4. Be clear about your USP

“To determine your unique selling propositions (USPs), answer the following questions,” says regional managing director at Hays, Jackie Mordue. “Why should an employer hire you over any other candidate? What is it that you can bring to the table that other candidates can’t?

“What unique skills or experiences do you have that could add real value? Do you consider yourself to be particularly creative or innovative?

“Also, it’s important to think about any specific examples you can cite that clearly evidence your USPs to both recruiters and hiring managers. Don’t forget to include these on your CV.”

5. Agile working requires agile thinking

“One thing is for certain; we are moving into a rapidly evolving world of work – one that will involve new practices and different ways of collaborating with each other,” adds Ely. “Obvious as it might sound, the ability to integrate quickly and adeptly into this new era will be fundamental, as well as a willingness to improve existing skills or acquire new ones where needed.

“Many elements of workforce practice, including communication, management and strategy, will need to adapt, and those who demonstrate open-mindedness and willingness to embrace the ‘new’ will be best placed to succeed.

“Think about how you can address this in your job search, either demonstrating flexibility and adaptability through your application or when you get to interview stage. This will be critical as we all start to move forward.”

By Jane Donnelly

Jane Donnelly is a regional managing director at Hays.

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