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4 Ways to Get Ahead of the Crowd When Job Hunting

Eric McConnell
June 13, 2014

Getting a job is fierce business. UK companies receive piles of CV’s and applications for every role they advertise for. In fact, research carried out only last year showed that, at some larger corporations, on average around 160 graduates were chasing each entry-level job role advertised to University leavers. With more are more students piling out of higher education each year, it means that the jobs market is more saturated than ever-before.

It’s fair to say then that if you want to get ahead of the rest of the crowd when job hunting, you will need to do a few things that set you apart. Here are four tips that can help you in the hunt for that elusive job…


source: flickr.com

1. Focus Your CV on Key Achievements

So many people’s CV’s just list a load of their day-to-day responsibilities. Your potential employer doesn’t want to know that you can use Microsoft Word, or are in charge of doing the office food-shop. They want to see things that you have achieved in your previous job roles – for example, maybe you implemented a new way of working that your company now uses throughout all levels of its business structure? Or maybe you wrote a company blog post that was picked up by the national press?

If you are a graduate and looking for your first role, you could talk about the additional things you have done that you are proud of, like becoming the head of your social at University, or any volunteering work you have done to help set you apart from the other candidates. It’s these things that recruiters want to know about and will put you at the forefront of their memories when shortlisting for interviews.

2. Network Like Mad Using Social Media

Social media isn’t just a place to post pictures of you and your mates in the pub; it’s also now the best way to network with potential employers and other people in your chosen industry. LinkedIn is the most tried and tested platform for finding those who you may one day be working for, but believe or not Twitter is also great as it allows for a bit more interaction with your peers. You can get involved in industry discussions, if you are able to find out the hashtags that are commonly used, and build a profile for yourself in your online industry community.

Using social media as a way of selling yourself is a must these days, so you need to make sure you remove any status updates or photos that potential employers may find offensive, and develop a professional yet friendly image online if you want to boost your chances.

3. Gain Extra Qualifications

When you are being considered alongside various other applicants who all have similar work-histories or skill-sets, you may find that you need something extra to push yourself ahead in the race for an interview. This is where the qualifications you hold may come into consideration. A-Levels or a University degree may not be enough to help you stand-out; it may in fact be any additional training that you have done which will draw the employer’s attention to your CV. This is especially so if it is training which you have done off your own back in order to improve your knowledge and career prospects, as it shows a willingness to learn and develop.

For example, in fields which are constantly evolving such as computing, online IT courses are a good way to stay up to date with the latest software, whilst if you want to work in online marketing then taking the Google Adwords exam shows that you have industry-proven knowledge in an area that is considered a modern-day must-have for businesses operating on the web.

4. Find Jobs Before They Exist

When it comes to job hunting, too many send their CV’s and expect the offers to come rolling in, but in reality it rarely works like that. As we have already mentioned, most employers are inundated with CV’s for each role they are looking to fill, so you need to get motivated and be proactive with your search by looking for a role before it even appears. Through your networking and research, start looking into some of the companies that you may want to work for in and do some research into who you would need to talk to when it comes to finding out about any potential jobs they may be looking to fill.

Getting yourself on a company’s radar before they advertise the role gives you an advantage as they may have looked at you in more detail than when they have lots of CV’s to consider; it may even save them the need to advertise the job role at all if they think you are suitable for their business!

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