Stand Out in a Client Driven Post COVID Recruitment Market

Released On 16th Jun 2020

We’re currently in a global period of uncertainty and so it’s natural for some of us to have spent lockdown taking a good long look at our career. 

Some employers were reported to have not looked after their employees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Add to this, the unfortunate number of redundancies due to businesses having to pivot and adapt to weather the storm, there is currently a huge influx of talent to the recruitment market.  Great news for employers, but not such great news if you are an employee looking to make a change. 

In recent years, the employment market has been primarily candidate led and it was the employers who had to work hard to attract the right applicants.  But in light of the pandemic, for the foreseeable, this is going to be a different picture as redundancies and unhappy members of staff will see people heading to the job pages quicker than we will be heading back to the pubs on the 4th July! 

So how do you stand out from other job seekers? How do you make an impact that will get you through to an interview?  Here are some DOs and DON’Ts to help you shine!

DO revise and revamp your current CV.  If you are going to be looking for a change in your career, then it is important to update your employment history and skills base – if it has been a long time since you last updated your resumé, check out the Mployable website and watch this video to get some great hints and tips on how to create your best CV. 

DO apply for jobs that match your experience. Look carefully at your skillset and apply those skills to the job description you are interested in.  There is little point applying for a role as a PR Consultant if you have no experience in this area.  Most job adverts now have a job description attached to them so you can have a look at the person specification and see where your skills match up.

DO research the company you are interested in.  Check out their website and see if their work ethos matches yours.  Get to know their history and their values, this is all important if you want to make a convincing first impression. Spend some time looking at videos or reading blogs/articles that have been written about what they do – you still need to make sure that this a company you want to be a part of and if it is, this kind of information will help you to align yourself with how you can help them to achieve some of their goals.

DO make sure you apply in the correct way – does the advert ask for you to send a CV to someone via email or do they ask that you complete an online application form?  It can be a more laborious process to do the latter, but if you can’t follow simple instructions on how to apply, this will have a negative effect on your whole application.

DO write a covering letter!  This is a really important step that so many candidates fail to complete and that’s like saying to the employer that you can’t be bothered to make the effort.  A CV is a great tool for letting hirers know that you have the necessary experience, but it does not convey your personality.  A cover letter is a chance for you to express your passion for this role and why you think you would be a good fit for the company.  If a recruiter receives an unexpectedly high response to their advert (which is likely post pandemic), this can be a way to help eliminate applicants without even looking at their CV.  I have even had people respond to my query as to why they did not include a covering letter, to say they don’t believe anyone looks at them anyway – I can assure you they do!

DO tap into your online and offline networks.   In a client-led market, who you know is just as important as what you know.  Be proactive about your searches, and don’t wait for opportunities to hit the job boards.  Figure out who could connect you to key decision makers in the businesses you want to work for and introduce yourself.  If you don’t have any of the right connections use social networks like LinkedIn to make it happen for you.

DON’T use a generic cover letter! I have read letters before that have had a different company name at the beginning or worse still a “x” where the company name should have been added.  This is sloppy and to be honest, if you’re this apathetic about your application, its not a good first impression.

DON’T underestimate the power of spelling and good grammar. If you are applying for a job that has stated you must have a good “eye for detail”, then to have a spelling mistake on your CV or cover letter is a huge no-no. 

DON’T  miss out on this video for some tips on how to write a first class covering letter  

And my number one piece of advice?  Concentrate on the one standout role you are interested in and give it your all. 

You only have one chance to make a first impression.
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Good luck!