As of December 2017, UK employment figures had dropped by 56,000. This caused many economists to start warning that the UK jobs market had peaked. However, with unemployment remaining at record low levels and the jobs market itself diversifying thanks to the influence of tech and globalisation there is still a lot to be positive about. So, if you’re currently looking for a new role then it’s still possible to find your dream job. You may just have to make some adjustments in the way that you go looking for it.
Networking has changed
Networking is a tried and tested way to help find new job opportunities. From being the first to know about a role not yet advertised, to being headhunted by someone you’ve met during a networking event, there are lots of ways in which it is possible to positively influence a job search by time invested in networking. However, networking today needs to be a balance of online and offline activity. Social networking via platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter can be just as valuable in terms of extending your connections and creating opportunities as going to events.
How to use the internet to find your next job
As well as engaging with social networking, there are many other online tools that will make it easier to get ahead.
Create your own website or portfolio. Depending on what you do, having your own web pages to display your work could help to bring you to the attention of your next employer or client.
Synchronise your online profiles. From Facebook, to LinkedIn make sure anywhere that you’re represented online highlights your career goals and demonstrates what you’ve achieved.
Clean up personal profiles. New employers will look at your personal social media profiles as part of the standard process of reviewing you as a candidate. So, untag yourself in the drunken photos, delete the late night statuses and choose a professional profile photo.
Post your CV online even if you’re not actively looking. This will mean that you can be found by someone who could identify you as an ideal fit for an available role. It’s always easier to get headhunted than not.
Sign up for updates and newsletters from businesses you want to work for. That way you’ll be the first to know about any opportunities they have and you’ll be well equipped to talk about the business itself if you get to the stage of an interview.
Decide what it is you actually want from a job. You’ll be a much more impressive candidate if you’ve clearly thought this through and are committed to the outcome.
Don’t sit on your hands if you’re between jobs. There’s a lot you can do to contribute to your job search, from honing your CV through to doing voluntary work that will help to illustrate a specific skill set that could be useful for your next applications.
Key changes in job searching in the last couple of decades
Social media matters. Most employers now check a candidate’s social media profiles even if they don’t rely on them to make decisions.
It’s not just for employers though… Social media is a great way to find out about job opportunities, to learn about a company culture and what the values and vision are for the business, as well as the latest news.
Telephone and Skype interviews have become standard. Often the first step in a recruitment process after the application has been made is a brief “initial interview” by phone or Skype.
CV standards have risen. We all have laptops now, as well as spell check and access to tech tools. So, employers expect CVs to be well laid out, engaging and error free.
Online recruiters have a huge reach. Online recruiters and job search sites are often a first port of call for employers looking to engage the widest pool of candidates. This makes them a rich source of potential for anyone looking for a new job.
Candidates have more power. Employers expect candidates to ask for what they want and also to challenge employers on what the business could do for the candidate and not just the other way around.
But some things haven’t changed at all. For example, asking good questions at interview, personal hygiene, being on time and ensuring that your interview answers tally up with the content of the CV all remain important.
Senior roles can be trickier. For those in senior or management positions it’s often a lot more about who you know and who could put you forward. That’s why networking is such a crucial tool for anyone at any level.
Amanda Gillam is Solution Loans's General Manager and has been since 2009. She is also a prolific writer on personal finance issues, and has been quoted numerous times in articles published on 3rd party websites and in press releases. Her...Read more about Amanda Gillam