The past seven months have been a strange and challenging time for the entire world. There are many of us who have suffered from the mental health impact of isolation and stress, been struck by illness or tragically experienced the loss of a loved one. Throughout the emotional turmoil, many have faced financial struggles as well, as we delve into a deep recession that has impacted the job market considerably.
At one point almost a quarter of the UK workforce was furloughed under the government’s Job Retention Scheme, and millions of others took pay cuts or reduced hours to help their employers limp through the financial crisis. Many more faced redundancy, either actual or potential.
2020 has felt like a bit of an uphill battle at times. We can certainly relate to the feeling of being up against it, with the media pushing doom and gloom bulletins and horror stories, and a sense of uncertainty and foreboding about what the future might hold has overshadowed this year. We think most people have felt times have been darker than usual, and now we are hearing from candidates on their job searches that there’s a presiding lack of positivity in the market right now.
There are IT jobs out there
There’s no hiding from the fact that there are challenges for job-seekers right now. The market is tough – there’s been a massive shift in the labour market that has turned a candidate’s market on it’s head overnight. But this doesn’t mean the doom merchants are to be believed – there is recruitment activity, there are opportunities, and there are plenty of jobs – particularly in tech.
Job-searching right now doesn’t mean a fruitless battle. It might mean that your job hunt will take a little longer than it would have previously. You may be expecting employers to be biting your hand off right about now based on your skillset and previous market trends, and that might still be the case for the most in-demand of skillsets like cybersecurity. But for many, the candidate-rich market might mean you need to work a little harder (and smarter) to get there, but it will happen. We are here to help you find the positivity you need to carry you through.
Our top tips for your post-redundancy job search are:
Finesse for success
You need to be doing the basics well – better than other candidates in the market, to get noticed amongst hundreds of applications. Your CV is your first and often only chance to make a good initial impression. Á la Liam Neeson, you too have a unique set of skills; and you need to ensure your CV showcases them to the max. Depending on your balance of qualifications, skills and experience, your CV may be more chronological, skills-based or a hybrid format. It must be clearly laid out, concise and punchy. Don’t make hiring managers work to find out the relevant information – spoon feed them the facts that really matter, and don’t forget that soft skills are often as in demand as tech skills.
Less is More
There’s nothing more demoralising than farming out application after application and hearing nothing back, so don’t put yourself through it. Feel like your fit would be a bit tenuous? So will the employer. Carefully target the roles you are suited to in order to maintain your confidence and poise. You are psychologically far better placed if you know you have the necessary skills and experience and can add value in a role than if you’re just chancing your arm.
At Intec Select, we can attest to the fact our inbox and phonelines are busier than usual. The market is busy with candidate enquiries and applications. Take the lead, don’t take no news as bad news, pick up the phone to make yourself stand out from the crowd and keep other potentially interested parties up-to-date on your activity. Recruitment consultants and hiring managers appreciate a candidate being direct.
Ask for feedback
If you are rejected, don’t take it to heart – there could be a multitude of reasons why other candidates were preferable, and it might not say anything about you. The market is full of very capable, highly qualified candidates right now. Ask for feedback to understand where you can improve, either in where you are targeting your attention or how you are selling yourself.
Just keep swimming
Dory had a point. Carrying on can feel difficult and frustrating, but it will never be pointless. At Intec Select we are taking on new vacancies all the time, and placing candidates every day who have not given up in the face of adversity. There may be fewer roles to choose from, but you only need one! Keep the faith.