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Thinking long-term: how best to stand out as a candidate when the pandemic is over

by Samantha Hattersley | 9 April 2020

The recent Coronavirus Pandemic has certainly caused a stir amongst members of the public, but it is important to remember that most businesses are continuing to function ‘business as usual’ to the best of their ability and where possible, skills are being transferred into other roles that require support during this unprecedented time.

Despite this, it is likely we will continue to see more job losses in the coming weeks and months and a recession seems inevitable. This will mean a lot of recruitment is likely to be put on hold but I am confident that once the situation settles down and the economy begins to recover, we should see confidence return to the UK jobs market. If you are in this situation it is important that you are ready for this to happen and do all you can now to prepare.

We have provided some top tips below to help you stand out as a candidate once the pandemic has passed.

Be clear about exactly what it is that you want

Have you thought about what type of role you want to be placed into? Is there a specific sector that interests you? It is important to be sure about the role that you are wanting to go into.

It is important that you use this time to explore your options and review job boards including Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library to see what career opportunities are available in your preferred location. You should also research the current market and look where there is a need for extra staff as you might get lucky and secure a role straight away if a need arises.

You might also want to research different types of roles and figure out what transferable skills you have that may open new opportunities for you. Doing this will give you a good understanding of the market, and ensure you have a head start when hiring starts again.

Research your target companies 

Think about the role that you would like to be placed in and do your research on companies within that sector to draw up a list of preferred workplaces ahead of applying. When doing this it is important to ask yourself some specific questions. Are they reputable? Do they have any reviews? Can you see yourself working there and making a difference?

Take your time to create a list of companies that you would like to work for and review the company websites and find out more information on the types of roles they usually have available. Within your chosen industry, are there specific companies that are well known that you could contact for further information on their current vacancies?

Make sure that you are organised

Being organised is an important factor when applying for roles, so get everything you can ready now. You can use this time to make sure that your CV is updated, practice common interview questions and work on your personal brand to name just a few. Having your facts lined up ready to explain to the panel who are interviewing you and having a list of contactable referees are also all key things to remember when applying for roles.

It is also important to develop a system to organise your job searching. Creating a detailed spreadsheet may help you to track jobs that you have applied for, where interviews have been given and whether you have heard back.

 

 

 

Utilise your professional network

It is important to remember that job hunting is often about who you know, not simply what you know, so reach out to your network as someone else may know about an opportunity that is perfect for you. It is therefore crucial to use your network to your advantage and help you advance your career. Think about reaching out to past colleagues, speaking to professionals in groups or attending virtual networking sessions that will help you build up relationships. During this time everyone is being incredibly helpful, so reach out where possible and ask for help, you never know what might come up!

You should also request information from people who you see posting information on job roles or current situations within your market. Speak to your current employer and seek internal advice so that once all of this is over, you can improve your skillset and advance your career.

Review your social media platforms

Over half of hiring employers review their candidate social media platforms so it is imperative to make sure that you stick to being professional and avoid uploading content that isn’t relevant and may be deemed as unprofessional. Think about the experience that you have gained in previous employment and make sure that your profile is built to the best possible standard – employers will be looking at all of your traits, not just the skills in your current role. It is also really important to make sure that your social channels are up-to-date, so make sure you are regularly checking everything.

Here are some additional tips to make sure your profile is up to date:

  • Utilise content from your CV to boost your personal summary
  • Obtain recommendations from previous colleagues / employers
  • Update your LinkedIn status a few times a week, share articles, projects that you are currently working / have worked on, events that you have attended / are attending etc

LinkedIn profile tips

 

 

 

 

Thinking ahead to the end of this pandemic and remembering all the above will increase your chances of standing out from the crowd. You will not be alone job searching once this is over, so it is important to make yourself stand out from other candidates that are applying for the same or similar roles.

If you would like further advice on preparing for an interview or applying for a role, you can visit our Candidate Resources page via our website or alternatively you can speak to one of our expert recruitment consultants.