How To Stand Out In A Competitive Job Market

April 29, 2021 Stephanie Klemperer

competitive job market

Whether you are ready to find a new job or reenter the workforce, you may find yourself jumping into a competitive job market. If this is a change from what you last experienced, landing a new job can feel more challenging. However, it’s not impossible! Many companies are hiring, and there are plenty of opportunities to choose from. So, how can you secure one?

The truth is that job searching in a competitive job market is pretty similar to job searching in a booming market. To get hired, you simply need to stand out! Continue reading to learn how you can separate yourself from the competition in a crowded job market:

Keep learning

A great way to stand out in a competitive job market is to demonstrate your willingness to learn! Whether that means developing a new skill, embracing evolving technology, or earning a new certification, there are plenty of opportunities to learn something new. You don’t even have to go back to school! Show employers you took this initiative by providing concrete examples on your resume and in an interview.

Tailor your resume

To get the attention of an employer (or an applicant tracking system) in a competitive job market, your resume needs to be relevant. Before submitting any additional applications, create a master version of your resume that lists all of your experience. As you apply to new roles, read the description and take note of any specific skills and experience the employer is looking for. Your master resume should be tailored to each position you apply to, so try to subtly incorporate key aspects of the job description into your experience and skills sections. Read also: How To Make Your Resume Stand Out (And Get Past The ATS)

Highlight essential skills

At the same time, pepper your resume with experiences or accomplishments that highlight your essential skills. While they may be not as tangible as your technical skills, they are equally as valuable to employers. These skills include the ability to communicate clearly, work well with others, multi-task, and lead. If you make it to the interview stage of the hiring process, make sure you are able to convey these skills through your body language, your interview responses, and the questions you ask. Read also: 4 Skills That Will Help You Land A Remote Work Opportunity

Pay close attention to detail

In a competitive job market, every detail matters. For example, a poorly written resume with typos and grammatical errors can immediately take you out of the running. The same concept applies to the any instructions the employer gives you during the hiring process. An inability to follow simple directions can raise some major red flags about your attention to detail. 

Start networking

Networking is always important, but even more so in a competitive job market! The more people you know (and who are willing to vouch for you), the more opportunities will be available to you. Put yourself out there by exploring virtual and in-person networking events, getting active on social media sites like LinkedIn, and reaching out to industry professionals! While you’re at it, you should also consider working with a recruiter—as industry insiders, they often have access to opportunities that will never be published online.

Volunteer or start a side hustle

Volunteering and taking on freelance or contract work can give you a leg up against other applicants in a competitive job market. These volunteer opportunities and projects can help you gain experience with new skills and technologies—helping you round out your resume as you search for the right role.

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