In times of economic volatility, the job market can seem a truly intimidating place. With reports of industry cutbacks, redundancies and general uncertainty spreading through many sectors, many employees are starting to feel the pinch. Regardless of the prevailing economic downturn however, the job market remains a fruitful and exciting place of opportunity, particularly if you can make it work in your favour. Below are some tips on how to get the job market working on your behalf.
Work out what you’re selling
Appraising your skills and experience for their worth within the marketplace can be a daunting task, particularly if it has been a while since you were last required to do it. Within times of economic uncertainty, employers become increasingly interested in specific, specialised skills and experience, so the more clearly you can analyse and communicate your key strengths the better.
Some of your strengths may be industry specific, whilst others may be more generalised, transferable skills, and it is important to appreciate the difference between the two, particularly in a tougher job market. A good grasp of the former allows you to present yourself as a needed specialist, whilst understanding the latter may present you with opportunities within a more diverse variety of sector roles.
Work out whom you are selling to
Before you begin to target both possible sectors and potential employers, it helps to know who they are. Conducting some thorough research into commercial areas that professionally interest you, and the key players within these sectors, can pay dividends when it comes to applications, and could save you a substantial amount of time and energy in finding your next role.
Researching relevant companies and markets also enables you to ask yourself what these types of businesses are looking for in a potential employee. The current economic conditions are affecting everyone, so an ability to understand what employers want from new employees at a time like this is a must. In the short term, and generally speaking, many companies will be mainly interested in recruiting people who can make a demonstrable difference to the bottom line or enhance the performance of their business in some other manner. Worth bearing in mind when you emphasise the strengths in your CV.
Refine your skills
Within any period of economic decline, you can greatly enhance your career prospects and increase your motivation by becoming engaged in some skills training. An interesting way to visualise this is to see yourself as a company, and to consider your individual skills as assets. Each time you acquire new and valuable skills you are like a company that seeks to diversify through acquisition and development, so don’t be afraid to branch out into new and rewarding areas.
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Develop a close relationship with your recruitment consultant
Recruitment consultancies are by far the most popular way of finding temporary or permanent jobs. A recent survey by The Guardian newspaper found that 87% of companies and 89% of candidates use a recruitment consultancy to fill roles, so it pays to find a good and relevant one and keep them close. A good consultant will be one of your closest allies in finding a new role, because you both have a shared objective in finding you a position that suits you and that you are happy with.
Consultants are aware of a far greater range of job opportunities than would be accessed if you were going it alone, and can provide you with useful objective advice regarding your own skills base, aspirations and career opportunities. Good consultants will also give you an invaluable briefing regarding the companies that you are targeting before you meet them, and may well know key figures within the companies, giving you an additional inside track.
Be flexible, motivated and positive
Just because the UK economy may be currently uncertain about its future path, doesn’t mean that you have to be. There are always opportunities to be had within any economic climate, even a negative one, although the steps that you might need to take in order to realise them may be different. In today’s commercial landscape, the ability to be flexible will be a key differentiator, because your prospective employer’s needs will be changing too.
Above all, remain motivated and positive about your worth in the commercial marketplace and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. With the right attitude and support around you, the job market can still be an exciting and rewarding place.