Tips to boost your marketability, during COVID-19
The last year has clearly been unprecedented for the economy and employment. At 15%, unemployment levels in the US are worse than what they were (10%) during the 2008 financial meltdown. Although India didn't put out job numbers during the pandemic, the situation is undoubtedly the most challenging in our country also.
The fallout of COVID-19 on job seekers has been multifold. Firstly, as a result of several businesses shutting down and their resulting layoffs, competition for vacant positions has become significantly stiffer. Secondly, job fairs and networking events have gone digital, thereby enabling candidates to network from anywhere, without the barrier of distance. Thirdly, a lot of people have maximized this time to build on their existing skill set. They have completed various training and modules to bridge the skill gap with others.
With the job market transforming, as a result of these drivers, only possessing the right experience and skills won't suffice to bag that job. As an aspirant, you will have to market yourself effectively for getting noticed and making it clear that you are the best choice for the position.
Here are five crucial tips for effectively positioning yourself during a job search in these uncertain times.
Leverage your Strengths
Revisit your resume and come up with a list of skills, strengths and accomplishments. This will help you in defining yourself. Try and articulate what excites you about your job, and why you should pursue that career. Underline the tasks you are good at, and recall compliments you have received for them.
Highlighting your team leadership and remote work experience may give you an edge over other applicants. Also, underscore your multi-tasking ability and skills that make you apt in the current digital landscape.
Your other varied experiences such as society membership and club, internships, part-time jobs, and volunteering are also valuable. Identify skills acquired from them and share them during an interview
The insights gained from this activity will help you in writing your cover letter, and answering interview questions more effectively.
Create a Brand
Establishing your professional brand doesn’t entail writing witty social media posts everyday or putting out glossy advertisements. A one or two sentence summary of your professional goals and strengths would be effective.
You can leverage LinkedIn to build your personal brand on social media. LikedIn profiles are designed like resumes, which can be used to narrate personal stories and provide details about professional experience.
Social media profiles are critical for modern personal brands. However, make sure your personal brand maintains consistency across all your social media channels.
Creating an online portfolio of your work — articles, website designs, artwork etc — will also help you stand out of the crowd.
It's also critical to prepare an elevator pitch -- a less-than-a-minute speech about your experience, background, and the job you seek. You can read out this ready spiel every time an opportunity arises.
Network as much as possible. Though there are less jobs being advertised in the current landscape, it doesn't mean there aren’t any. You need to raise your visibility through group membership and writing of posts and articles on digital platforms. Adding professional connections and getting noticed can lead you to opportunities that may be otherwise not advertised or available.
Your job application has to stand out from the clutter. This is possible only if you communicate clearly your motivation to work for the employer. Research the company indepth -- what they do, who they are, who are their competition, how they have adapted during the pandemic. Is the company working on any innovation that is in sync with your expertise? Answers to these questions will demonstrate your passion and eagerness to work for them.
Become an Expert
In the current times, companies are looking for subject matter experts rather than people with generic skills. Employers can easily differentiate between the two. Therefore, in addition to networking, researching and applying, you should make time for sharing such content on social media that experts in your vertical find valuable.
Continue interacting and sharing even after bagging that job because true subject matter experts prioritize this irrespective of their employment status.
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