Looking for work can be a daunting process – particularly if it has been a while since you were last unemployed. The prospect of sending out multiple applications and then possibly being invited to interview can seem quite scary for many people.
The recent Coronavirus has caused massive unemployment rates around the world and, even with the promise of a return to something nearing normal through the global vaccination program, it is becoming clear we are really only at the start of a long road when it comes to the economic recovery from COVID.
With so many already unemployed (and more expected to follow), it is vitally important you up your game to increase your chances of selection. Here are just five things you can do today to improve your prospects.
Get a new computer so you can rewrite your CV and make it easier to apply for vacancies
Unless you have been recently unemployed, chances are your CV will be well out of date so spend some time updating details and revising your career summary. Employment experts also suggest tailoring your CV to each vacancy, tweaking details based upon the requirements of each employer – particularly given today’s highly competitive market. Yes, this will take more time, but today there is a huge range of fast, ergonomic and comfortable desktops available that will make the process a breeze.
Think about downloading a CV template
First impressions count and sending out a rigid, traditional-looking CV in Times font is unlikely to win you any favours. If – like most people – your design skills do not amount to much, consider downloading a pre-formatted CV template to give your application that extra punch and help you stand out from the crowd.
Open a LinkedIn account – and ensure you keep it up-to-date
In our connected world, more and more people are looking to social networks to improve their employment prospects. Of all the social platforms, LinkedIn is generally considered the de facto, number one choice for employees and employers alike so, if you do not have an account already, start one today.
Alternatively, if you are already a member of the LinkedIn community, ensure you have updated your profile to include the most pertinent, up-to-date information. Point of note – while LinkedIn is the main system used for work, you should also do a thorough clean of your other social media profiles to remove or privatise information that might harm your chances of finding work. Employers are increasingly checking applicants’ profiles to get a better picture of individuals.
Make sure you are interview-ready with the right business attire
Depending on the type of job you used to do, it is possible you might not have clothing suitable for your new choice of work. While not a ‘tool’ as such, dressing well for an interview will give you an air of confidence and professionalism the minute you enter the room. Again, first impressions really do count here and most experts suggest 30% of interviewers make up their mind about a candidate within the first five minutes.
If you are male, invest in a well-cut suit, shirt and shoes (a tie seems largely optional these days). For women, a tailored skirt or trouser suit with dress shoes should suffice. If you are in any doubt, check online for ideas of clothing suitable for today’s workplace and interview style. Even if you are applying for a job that will not involve wearing formal clothes, dressing well for an interview will help give you the edge.