In just a few months, the Australian market has completely transformed, with job seekers facing a new reality on the other side of this pandemic.  With unemployment figures tipped to rise to 10% by September, we may potentially see 1.4 million more Australians entering the jobseeker market.

Even if a cure for COVID-19 is discovered tomorrow, the “new normal” has been established and there is no doubt that this will affect your future job search.  These are the new realities that you need to be aware of:

A higher volume of people will be looking for a job

If you’ve been laid off or stood down, there are no guarantees if or when you’ll be called back to your job. Even if re-employed, it may be part-time, in a different role or at lower pay. Customers/clients may be slow to return, and many professionals will not have the luxury to sit and wait. As a result, they will start job searching rather than wait it out.  The market is going to be flooded with candidates in the next few months and employers will be able to take their pick.

Companies are running lean

Organisations are cutting back and reducing budgets where they can. As they learn to increase efficiency, they may realise that they can function effectively with less staff. As a result, it is likely that they won’t rehire as many staff as they had prior to Covid-19.

Salaries have been reduced

It’s an employer’s job market now, and organisations realise that they can find a candidate who will work for less, even if you’re an absolute gun and worth the extra pay. This may be incredibly short-sighted, but the odds are in their favour with so many candidates to choose from.

The reality is, that the job seeker market will be incredibly competitive and will remain so long after the pandemic has ended. If you don’t have a job search strategy to stand out from the pack, then you are stuffed.

So, what does this mean for a jobseeker?

In our Relaunch Your Career programs, we talk to career ‘relaunchers’ (clients looking to change their career) about taking the driver seat and using ‘active’ job search strategies to improve their job search success.  This is because career changers always get eliminated in the early rounds of online recruitment for not fitting “traditional” criteria programmed into the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Therefore, they simply cannot rely on the traditional job search methods of applying to advertised roles.

So, just as career changers have successfully used these ‘active’ job search strategies to bypass the online abyss, so will the average jobseeker if they wish to stand out from the crowd.

How you can improve your chance of finding employment?

By implementing the following, you will greatly increase your chance of securing employment in the future:

1) Employ active job search strategies instead of passive

Career relaunchers have learned to use a self-directed process, redirecting their energy away from online applications to instead focus on a tailored strategy targeting people and companies directly.  They focus less on finding jobs and more on finding people. Identifying key career areas and organisations and then finding a strategy to build connections within that organisation.

2) Take the time to develop your personal brand

Personal branding is a vital career management tool and will be more important going forward.  You must be clear on your personal brand, that is, who you are, what you can offer and what you believe in. You must then weave this value proposition into your elevator pitch, cover letter, resume, LinkedIn profile and interview responses.

3) Build mutually beneficial connections

Career relaunchers understand the power of mutually beneficial relationships. They look for opportunities to build authentic long-term connections and ensure that their network understands what they can offer to potential employers.  They use these networks to gain information about roles that may never be advertised to the general public – the hidden job market.

4) Ensure your skills are up-to-date

If you are out of work at the moment, now might be the time to do a bit of a skills audit and consider what skills that you need to build in order to be more marketable in the current market. Digital and STEM skills are still in demand, so consider how you can develop these skills online by completing cheap or inexpensive courses on websites such as Udemy, Coursera, Class Central, edX, Superhi or FindCourses.co.uk

If you are a job seeker, you simply cannot afford NOT to change the way you have previously looked for a job.  You must take an active job search strategy in what will be the most competitive job market we have faced in a long time.  By taking the driver’s seat you will be more competitive as a candidate, it will open up access to the hidden job market and will increase your chances of being referred by a trusted insider.

If you need support with your job search, then contact Leah Lambart at Relaunch Me to discuss how we can help you devise a more active job search strategy.

Relaunch Me has offices in Malvern and Essendon, Melbourne, VIC,  Brookvale, Sydney, NSW, New Farm, Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast QLD.

We also offer consultations via Zoom to our international, interstate and rural clients. Get in touch via our Contact page to organise a session or a clarity call with one of our career coaches.