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5 tips to stand out in a competitive job market


The tech sector laid off more than 150,000 employees in 2022, populating the job market with a wave of talent from some of the country’s most notable companies.

Job seekers energized by a fresh start for the new year might have a rough awakening – finding a job just got a whole lot harder. CNBC reports that recruiters say the tech market remains competitive, even as job seekers are considering fewer offers than in the past.

Continued inflation and talk of a recession in 2023 will likely make the job market even more competitive this year. Whether you’re applying for the same position as someone who lost their job or looking for something that offers more financial support, being a top candidate means bringing your A-game to the hiring process.

Here are five tips to help you gain a competitive edge over Twitter’s latest quit.

1. Clean up your digital footprint

Browse your social networks

Most people know to rid their social media profiles of inappropriate photos and posts. But, in case an employer “stumbles” on your Twitter or Facebook profile, check that you haven’t liked or commented on any posts you wouldn’t like them to see.

Embrace the pain of googling you

People love googling themselves as much as they love listening to a recording of their own voice – okay, so they don’t tend to enjoy everything. But some things are worth a few minutes of internal hindsight, including shiny new work. Take note of which websites appear first? Is there something problematic that you need to take care of? If your personal website isn’t appearing on the first page of search results, consider making some SEO improvements.

Update any shared personal information

Long bios, short bios, social media bios – make sure all of this information is not only updated with your most recent accomplishments, but also reflects the image you want to portray to employers. A competitive job market is not a good time for self-deprecating humor.

2. Go beyond simple research

Companies love that candidates “do their research”. Not only does this show employers that the candidate is serious about the company, but it also boosts some egos – just make sure you don’t overdo it.

Showing that you’ve done your research might sound like spitting out the stats and keyphrases you saw on their website, but to be truly effective, take it a step further. Incorporate your own thinking, ideas and values ​​into the information you have gathered about the company. What excites you about their approach to problem solving? How do their mission and values ​​align with your own career goals? Do you have any ideas to bring to the table if they were to hire you in the new role? Share them if they’re open to hearing them, and make sure you know what competitors are doing so you’re informed about the market you’re in.

3. Don’t let any threads hang

Nothing says you’re interested in a business more than a thank you email and, if needed, a follow-up email. Not only is this a graceful practice, but it also leaves employers with a positive image of you before they make their decision.

4. Do some thinking

You don’t need me to insert an inspirational quote about the inability to know that rejection is a part of life. However, accepting rejection and getting back on the horse is only the first step. Dare I say – succeeding in spite of failure is not only about how many times you can get up.

Dare I say – succeeding in spite of failure is not only about how many times you can get up.

If there’s one thing you take away from this article, let it be this: never ask a company for feedback after they’ve been rejected! Despite their good intentions, many people don’t realize that asking companies for feedback can open the door to legal issues that cause major problems on the company’s side. For this reason, HR is usually well trained to deny this request.

Instead, make up your own mind about how the interview went. Be honest with yourself, what could you have done better? What questions did you feel unprepared for? Were there any moments that made you particularly anxious? Also consider the behavior and body language of the hiring manager. Were there times during the interview when they responded unfavorably? You know more than you think.

Take note of the type of candidate the company was looking for and any interview responses you may have given that revealed the ways you could fail.

Is the gap specific to this company and position? Or is it something you plan to prevent from getting other jobs with similar requirements in the same industry?

The mismatch could be because you don’t have a preferred skill or work style or because you have location or time demands that the company can’t meet.

5. Adjust your approach and go back to the job board

Taking stock of the things that didn’t fit in your last application or interview process isn’t enough to make things fall into place the next time you go around. Make a list of things you can change to fill in the gaps that are falling short of what hiring managers are looking for.

Then choose a gap to solve. That might mean adding another certification to your tool belt or accepting that you might have to relocate. Either way, repeat this process enough and it will only be a matter of time before you land a job offer. When you do, it won’t be a job that falls into place; it will be a job that you will set up yourself.




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