The market has never been tougher for job seekers due to the impact of COVID-19. With a large percentage of Australians either stood down, made redundant or working reduced hours, it’s meant an influx in people seeking work in an active job market that is down 65% on last year*.
While there are signs of the market recovering in some areas, more than ever, job seekers need to take a considered approach to finding a new role.
Practical advice for job seekers
We’ve put together this resource of tips and tricks from our recruiters to assist you in your job search during these challenging times.
Preparing your resume
There is a lot of conflicting advice about what to include or not include on your resume, so we asked some of our recruitment consultants for their best tips and advice when it comes to writing a standout resume. Here are the top tips from our recruiters about creating a high-quality resume.
- Include a personal summary: Recruiters and hiring managers are busier than ever before and receive high volumes of resumes, so your personal summary helps summarise who you are and why you can do the job. Your personal summary should entice the recruiter or hiring manager to read on for more detailed information.
- Dates, dates, dates: Details do matter, such as including the months and years you started and finished each job. Format dates consistently, for example, if you abbreviate the month and write the year in full, make sure you do the same throughout (i.e. Apr 2017 – Nov 2018). And explain any sizable gaps or time away from the workforce.
- Key responsibilities and achievements: Most important to your resume is how you set out your career history; listing (dot points) is best-practice when outlining your responsibilities and achievements. Use measured outcomes and results – “increased open rates by 10%”.
- Technical skills: Employers are often looking for candidates who have capability and experience with specific software programs or tools, so always include details about your technical proficiency in various applications. Highlighting your technical skills is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Updating your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is one of the easiest ways to get discovered by recruiters and potential employers. Establishing a professional presence and building your ‘personal brand’ on LinkedIn can open up a range of new career opportunities.
- Turn on “Open to Opportunities”: This feature lets recruiters know you are ready for new opportunities and can open new doors in your job search. To turn this feature on, you’ll need to click on the “Jobs” tab on your LinkedIn profile and then click on “Career interests”. Select “On” to let recruiters know you’re open.
- Complete all sections of your LinkedIn profile: Make sure your current position is up-to-date and includes your title, company name, and the time period you have worked there. Your LinkedIn headline is important and should contain keywords most relevant to your role as it is searchable for recruiters looking for candidates. It’s also important to complete the “About” summary with an overview similar to your personal summary. List your work history under “Experience” with highlights (think keywords) of your skills and responsibilities in each role.
- Get active: One of the best ways to get noticed on LinkedIn is to join relevant groups or networks related to your industry or niche. Posting content, commenting and engaging with other people’s content will also help boost your presence and build connections with other industry contacts.
Partnering with a specialist recruitment consultant
At Six Degrees, our role is to match the best candidate with the perfect job. Our recruiters have many conversations with candidates about their current situation, capabilities and experience, career aspirations and preferences, and work-life requirements to understand how well suited they are to different roles; due to COVID-19 recruiters have been inundated with candidate enquiries, making it challenging to respond to everyone promptly, so here are some tips to prepare in advance.
- Be specific: Provide a specific, short overview of your experience if emailing or messaging on LinkedIn.
- Consider your options: In this current climate, it’s good to consider all your options and be open to new avenues you may not have considered in the past. Take a two-pronged approach – Short-term immediate options and longer-term ideal options.
- Consider contract work: Many of our clients are looking to fill immediate gaps in their business brought about by changing circumstances; considering a 3 or 6-month contract is a great way to secure immediate work and trial a new workplace at the same time.
- Be patient: Recruiters are currently inundated with calls, emails and requests; not to mention their own personal and professional pressures working reduced or nonstandard hours and trying to manage their way through the crisis. Be patient, allow time for recruiters to respond and send a polite follow up if you don’t hear back in a week or two. Sometimes it is not possible to get back to everyone due to large volumes, however at Six Degrees we do our best to return everyone’s enquiries.
- Sign up to job alerts: Most recruiters have platforms that allow you to create a job seeker profile and be updated by email with relevant roles. You can also upload your resume and apply for jobs directly from your job seeker profile on the Six Degrees website. Sign up for a Six Degrees Executive job seeker profile to receive job alerts.
- Manage your salary expectations: Everyone’s personal situations are different, however realistically ask yourself how much of a salary drop you could manage to get you through. This can open up more roles for you to consider and may only be for a short to a mid-range timeframe.
- Take a sideways step: It may be a difficult time to try and take a step forward, so looking at comparable options such as considering a smaller or larger business in the same role or different capacity or looking at new industries or sectors where your skills may be transferrable.
Six Degrees is committed to supporting job seekers through these challenging times.
*SEEK Analytics April 2020.