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4 Ways To Become A Competitive Applicant

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Jan. 6 2021, Published 3:00 a.m. ET

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 12.6 million Americans are currently unemployed. 

If you’re job hunting right now, that might feel like a pretty daunting task and with the increased competition you may wonder how you could possibly stand out from all the other applicants and net your dream role. 

There may be stiff competition for job roles right now, but you can gain an edge over your competitors and ensure your talents, skills, and experience stand head and shoulders above the rest. 

With the current climate and the rise of remote working, you may need to make some adjustments to your normal job application process. “One of the challenges we are seeing is a stretched out recruitment process,” explains Jane Downes, careers coach at Clearview Coaching Group. This may mean extra steps in the process, such as job trials or completing digital tasks to ensure you are the right fit for the role. 

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“Applicants will also need to get to grips with video interviewing,” Jane adds. “And depending on the industry you are in, you may notice a sluggishness in available jobs. However, other sectors are still very buoyant. The biggest challenge for applicants is trying to make an impact with a potential employer within a remote context.” 

Downes explains what you can do to stand out in a competitive job market. 

1. Make Your CV Digitally Friendly 

Your CV may read well and include all your relevant skills and experience. You may even have taken the time to tailor it specifically to the job role you’re applying to, but have you considered adding keywords? 

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In this new remote work environment, Downes says you must ensure your CV is digitally-led. “A CV which is relevant and digitally up to date with URLs that link to the companies you have worked for and your LinkedIn profile will give you an edge,” she explains. “In today’s world, CVs are now keyword and lingo-led, so be sure to deploy the lingo of your industry and use the skills of the job specification in question to improve your chances.” 

2. Hone Your Video Interview Skills 

If you’re the camera-shy type, a job interview conducted via video call may feel particularly nerve-wracking, but don’t fret, the important thing is preparing yourself with lots of examples and a clear summary of your skills and experience, Downes assures. 

“Prepare yourself with some solid competency-based examples to back up what you say you can do,” she advises. “And have a well-mapped out sales pitch that’s relevant to the role.” Remember to test out your mic and camera beforehand too! 

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3. Try Multiple Avenues 

There’s more than one way to find a job, and you may increase your chances by looking at avenues others may not have considered, Downes explains. “A robust job hunt strategy that includes all avenues available to your job hunt including the direct approach to companies of interest, networking with contacts within those companies, LinkedIn and job boards show recruiters you know what you want.” 

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4. Focus On Transferable Skills 

The more you identify how your skills are valuable across multiple industries and roles, the more roles that open up to you, and the more roles that open up to you, the more you increase your chances of getting hired, Downes explains. 

“Take the time to get clarity on how your skills transfer,” she advises. If you’re unsure, Knock ‘Em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide by Martin John Yate identifies seven key transferable skills. They are Technical, Communication, Critical Thinking, Multitasking, Teamwork, Creativity, and Leadership.” 

Hunting for a job may feel particularly challenging right now but by adapting your application for the new remote working environment, and broadening the search by exploring multiple avenues and industries, Downes says you can make the hunt more likely to yield results.

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By: Victoria Stokes

Victoria Stokes is a writer from the United Kingdom. When she’s not writing about her favorite topics, she usually has her nose stuck in a good book. Victoria lists coffee, cocktails, and the color pink among some of her favorite things.

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