With businesses cutting thousands of jobs nationwide as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the jobs market is more competitive that ever across every sector.
The most recent unemployment rate from the Office of National Statistics saw an increase of 0.7% for August to October compared to the previous three months, with a rate of 4.9% equating to a huge 1.69m people being unemployed throughout this time. It’s due to this that the application process has become even tougher and more competitive than usual, with many struggling to break through the noise. Recruitment specialists Futures here offer a range of expert tips to help you stand out among other candidates.
Update your CV
While it may seem obvious, a CV is the first and most important way of gaining initial attention from a potential employer. Your CV should regularly be updated with important information such as accomplishments and achievements, both in and outside or the workplace to show continual growth; highlighting any new skills that you may have learned throughout the pandemic, such as studying another language or home schooling your children, will show diligence and perseverance to a potential employer.
Ensure you research the company and role
Once past initial stages and you have secured an interview, it is key to take time to research the company and highlight the things that attracted you to them, such as their key achievements or their stand-out culture. Be prepared for questions about the business which will allow you to ask insightful questions to the interviewers, showing interest and enthusiasm.
Mike Grossbard, Senior Consultant for Futures Manufacturing says, “By doing your research and learning about the company and role at hand it demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in both aspects and already know enough to affirm your interest.”
Dress the part
Many interviews in the last year have been over Zoom or Microsoft Teams due to the pandemic, but even if you aren’t meeting face to face, it’s important to dress as you would be expected to for a formal interview. This not only shows professionalism, but that you take the position, and the interviewers time, seriously.
Connect with the interviewers
The power of human connection is second to none, having a positive effect on both mental and physical health, which is why it is important to connect with your interviewers. Whether this is through personal interest questions such as ‘why do you enjoy working here?’ or bonding over a common pastime, creating a rapport throughout the interview will increase your likeability and ensure you stand out from other candidates. In addition, keep your body language open and relaxed to ensure that you come across as confident and positive.
Mike goes on to explain: “Part of the interview process is all about whether you are the right personality for the team, connecting with the interviewer demonstrates this first-hand as well as enabling you to build rapport with them.”
Stay in touch
To enhance to chance of being the next hire, stay in touch with your interviewers by following up with a ‘thank you’ email a day or two after the interview; this will bring your interview to the forefront of their mind. If time has passed and you have not heard back regarding the position, a polite and brief email to follow up will show commitment to the position and push you to the top of their inbox.
The pandemic has undoubtedly created a jobs market crisis, making it the ideal time for candidates to reboot their approach to the application process in order to stand out from the rest.
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