The job market is more competitive than ever. Read the different ways you can make your CV stand out from the crowd and get a job now.

For recent graduates, finding a job can be more stressful than sitting exams. You’ve probably sent dozens of job applications, honed your CV and had it proofread by various people, attended multiple career fairs and workshops, spoken to career advisors, prepared for interviews and still have no potential job offers. The more time you spend looking for that dream job, the more disappointed you become. If it makes you feel any better, everyone’s gone through this and we’ve all had these moments of frustration.  

Unfortunately, times are tougher now. Since the beginning of 2020, the impact of the pandemic has been felt by businesses worldwide. Companies have closed or downsized resulting in mass redundancies and recruitment coming to a halt. With the current competitive job market, gaining employment is more difficult than pre-pandemic days, but not impossible. Don’t lose hope - fresh, young talent is still sought after to bring new ideas and keep businesses current and dynamic.

Take a look at a few ways you can improve your chances of getting a job in the current market:


Do an online training course

In some cases, university teaches you the theory but doesn’t provide you with enough practical experience to apply what you’ve learned. In other cases, you may complete your degree but at the end decide it’s not a career you wish to pursue. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you can overcome this by attending online courses

If you dream about becoming a designer, digital marketer or programmer you might need to improve your practical skills in this field. Online courses are an excellent way to do this. Get taught by experts who have years of industry experience, live via platforms such as Zoom from the comfort of your own home. Receive certificates of achievement that are recognised by some of the UK’s biggest brands such as The BBC, Marks and Spencer, Penguin Random House, Sony and more. This is an amazing way to improve your CV and LinkedIn profile and make yourself stand out from the crowd.


Apply for internships

How many times have you been rejected because of lack of experience? This happens to graduates often. The question you then ask is: “How do I gain experience if I can’t get a job?” It’s a never-ending circle that can make you feel stuck. One way to break that circle is by applying for internships. Businesses of all sizes offer various types of internships: summer placements, one-year internships or even part-time around university. 

If you’re finding it difficult to gain experience you could also reach out to local businesses and ask if they will offer you an unpaid internship. Whether this is for a week, month, summer or longer, any experience is valuable experience when starting out.  In most cases, if you prove your ability to learn fast and work hard, there’s a good possibility you could get hired on a full-time basis should any positions become available. 


Practice new skills

Once you’ve attended a course in design, coding or writing, you’re not all of a sudden an expert in this field. “Practice makes perfect” - meaning you should continuously use these skills to improve your confidence and keep improving. If you have a more creative eye, try to play around with software such as Adobe InDesign or Photoshop by using tools such as Brush, Type, Artboard, Eyedropper, etc. If you are a keen web developer, take your HTML knowledge and put it to practice by creating simple web pages. If you’re passionate about creative writing or journalism, find a new story and write about it. 

Employers are currently looking for those with a diverse set of skills who can do a multitude of tasks in order to cut down costs and improve efficiency. The more skills you have listed on your CV the more attractive you become.


Build your portfolio

Learning from home is a great opportunity to focus on yourself and build your portfolio. Having a website with examples of your professional photos, social media posts, blogs, design work or videos is a great asset to be able to share with potential employers. The more ways you can physically demonstrate your skills and experience the more you will be viewed as a credible candidate with tangible skills. 

The downtime during lockdown is an ideal time to concentrate on what you do best, create new work and find innovative ways to exhibit your talents.


Expand your network

Networking is one of the key strategies to sell yourself and learn more about the job market from direct sources. Online communities, conferences, webinars and seminars are a few examples of virtual events that take place and can offer you the opportunity to interact with potential recruiters. You never know how a simple chat with someone can bring you closer to landing your dream job.

Everyone is going through difficult times and facing multiple challenges, but don’t give up. The hard work and resilience you show now will prove that you’re the best candidate to potential employers. As a graduate, starting a career is what keeps you moving forward, learning new skills and progressing up the career ladder. It shows that the years of studying was worth it. You will get your dream job if you take the time to work on yourself and go above and beyond by putting in the extra effort.

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