The job market today is a network-driven environment and is highly competitive by nature, submitting applications- landing an interview and simply landing the job is a scarcity and the expectation for it to be that simple, is quite frankly, unrealistic.
The “spray and pray” approach to job hunting will no longer cut it, especially in a post-pandemic world. Job hunting has become a science and this feat should be tackled as if you were planning to launch a new product to market where market share is limited, especially for any new comers.
So, what is a realistic representation of the job market in 2021? As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, past hiring patterns have changed as the majority of companies and industries have felt the impact of the global pandemic. This has consequently made many jobs redundant in just a matter of months. Job specifications have also evolved, and the recruitment process has moved towards a complete digital transformation.
The competitiveness of the job market and the new role digital is playing has made it increasingly difficult for the job seekers of today to get seen and heard. Job hunting in 2021 is a science which fundamentally is based on the concept of marketing and enabling candidates to stand out from the crowd. Marketing is synonymous with setting goals and developing a social presence that aligns you with the target market that you are trying to appeal to- this concept applies to the process of finding employment- it is not merely a matter of sending out thousands of job applications and hoping for the best.
Finding lasting employment is a marketing science- one needs to market themselves and do it well. How do you market yourself for the job you want? Start with setting goals- identify what industry your abilities and skill set are best suited for, what does this position require from candidates as a minimum requirement? Then determine whether you meet those requirements- something as simple as tailoring your focus to a specific industry and position enables job hunters the opportunity to identify their shortfalls and fill in those gaps to make them more marketable.
Desperation often misleads job seekers into the easy trap of applying for every job vacancy they encounter, irrespective of whether or not it matches their qualifications or experience. The issue job trawling poses is that not only is the type of work not in alignment with a candidate’s unique skill set, but the approach does not offer the opportunity to identify weaknesses. Perhaps there is a new course that could make your application relevant to a prospective employer? Candidates often search the wrong avenues and don’t allow themselves the opportunity to be updated with the current trends in their job market.
The job application process should be methodical, “Job seekers underestimate the critical importance of a customised, well-researched motivational letter, that could be the deciding factor between you and someone else- who may even be less qualified,” says Jeannette Campbell, Graduate Support Programme Manager at Boston City Campus. “We teach our graduates the importance of marketing themselves to the right job market and developing a root CV that sells themselves to the right audience”.
Effectively marketing yourself within the right job market involves the development of a social presence and a personal image; this communicates one’s level of competency and professionalism to potential employers as well as job suitability. These are two important factors that come into play in the job searching game.
In order to stand out among the crowd you need to brand yourself, think of yourself as a product. The way candidates present themselves in interviews is a determining factor- it shows the interviewer your level of effort and gives them an indication of whether your brand is in alignment with their company culture.
Boston’s Graduate+ guarantee and graduate support services department aim exclusively to match graduates to jobs, whether through mentoring or job opportunities. Find out more at www.boston.co.za