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Unemployment is steadily becoming a top global threat with overly saturated job markets. The emergence of COVID-19 has plunged many countries into record-setting unemployment rates. Many current job seekers have not experienced economic downturns or mass furloughs before. Thus, most of them end up navigating months of unemployment and endless hours of applications to find their next opportunity.

The competition is stiff. You need to stand out to attract attention. Like my lecturer used to say back in the day, you must stand up to be recognized.

6 Tips to help you navigate the saturated job markets.

  • Build a personal brand. Your personal brand is what sells you along with your resume/CV. In fact, your employer may forget your resume/CV but personal brands can have a lasting impact.

How do you want prospective employers to perceive you? If a hiring manager perceives you positively and connects with you on a personal or professional level, your chances of getting hired are higher. You can create your brand through blog posts, engaging and sharing content through social media, providing expert advice where you add value to conversations or by simply publishing industry articles in your niche.

  • Have an impeccable online presence. It is not enough to have an online presence. What kind of presence do you command online? Don’t be surprised when prospective companies go through your online profiles in order to gather more information about you.

Before you take that quiz about what dog resembles your face decide to put your energy into a more meaningful social media presence. Use social media tools for building your personal brand and let your networks know you are seeking new career prospects. Make meaningful contributions to online conversations, join virtual meet-up groups and leverage LinkedIn content and groups to showcase your talent and intelligence.

  • Craft your resume/CV and introductory letter to the position’s needs. Let your resume/CV tell an employer how your experience can solve the problems the organization is facing. You need to think like an employer when preparing your resume/CV and introductory letter. Why does the organization need you on their team? How is your expertise superior to others? What impacts have you made to previous organizations? Do a Google search for impact statements on resumes, the knowledge will change your life! Companies don’t just want to know WHAT you did before. They want to know why YOU doing it was the added benefit. If you lead others, design your resume/CV with the intention of showcasing how your skills will benefit a team.

  • Introduce Yourself. Corporate, freelance and agency recruiters all benefit from a brief introduction. Want to stand out amongst the masses? Send a quick note to the job search team with one or two bullet points about your fit and background. Always attach your resume and be bold! If you can determine who the hiring manager is send them a quick note as well.

  • Reframe your Expertise. Many professionals in Oil & Gas, and Software & Technology are finding ways to transfer their skills into new industries. If you don’t know the difference between chronological and functional resumes, now is the time to learn. Nothing makes it easier for a hiring team to see your potential than a well-crafted functional resume. Functional resumes highlight your expertise and transferable skills. Lead with your strategic prowis and program management abilities vs. recapping a decade of highlights. Each style of resume has a place in job searching but when making a big shift in industry or role, functional is the way to go!

  • Take bold steps. Take the initiative rather than wait for job announcements. Make a list of your top 20 organizations you’d like to work for then simply reach out to people who work there. Most organizations have referral programs. Once you get to know someone on the inside they can refer you to the right opportunities. Referrals often get priority so it pays to network and make new connections. This added step also allows you a look from the inside out to make sure that the companies you admire are actually living up to your expectations.

To stand out from the crowd of job seekers, be creative. Don’t be stagnant, make sure you upgrade your job search abilities in order to get recognized.

For more tips or example functional resume templates email me at

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We all want the best results when looking for new recruits. In days gone by, we would advertise a vacancy, sift through the applicants and interview the lucky few. But the process of attracting the best talent starts much earlier than this. People are circling your organization for many months or even years before they click the button that says ‘Apply.’ With this in mind, we should have a keen eye on the candidate journey. Effectively mapping this out allows us to improve the whole process of hiring and deliver the best outcomes.

What Is Candidate Mapping?

Having a visual representation of all the touch points a candidate has with your employer brand enhances the strategy that goes behind that brand. In the same way, your company brand says heaps about the business, the employer brand attracts like minded people.

Candidate Journey: The Stages

There are several stages a candidate goes through before they become part of your team. For instance, you won’t get a candidate if they don’t know who you are. Here are the 6 stages of the journey –

  1. Awareness of your organization

  2. Considering you as a potential employer

  3. Interest in working for you

  4. An application to join the business

  5. Selection by your organization

  6. Starting the role

Each of these touch points is an opportunity to enhance your reputation. This ensures that the top talent moves through to the next stage. But if you get any of these stages wrong then you narrow the pool of talent that comes through. The very best applicants want to work with organizations that share their values and believe what they believe. Do your touch points reflect your values? Are they easy to find and understand?

Understanding Experience Gaps In The Candidate Journey

Firstly, you need to know what the journey looks like for your business. Map this out. Be hard on yourself when you analyze each stage. Is it as good as it could be? Be honest with yourself too.

Then, speak to recent hires and find out how they worked their way through these stages. Ask questions –

  • How did they become aware of you?

  • Was it easy to make an application?

  • Did they consider not applying? Why?

This will give you some experiential evidence of your candidate journey.

Areas For Improvement

The most effective companies do all the hard work upfront, making it easy for potential candidates to learn about the organization. The days of top talent finding out about your vacancy on a job board could well be over. Developing a pool of talent that follows your employer brand because you have something valuable to say is the method here for the long term. This is the smart way to recruit. Once you have talent following your social media feeds or subscribe to your regular email, you have the audience you crave. This can condense stages 1, 2 and 3 into one. You have people interested in working for you BEFORE you even have a vacancy.

Don’t forget, you still need an effective and user-friendly application process from there, and an onboarding program that makes people want to stay forever, but attracting talent to you becomes much easier if you work on the employer brand. 

Now is a great time to understand the touch points of your candidate's journey and work on the gaps. As companies ramp back up and build their teams of tomorrow the competition will be fierce. Organizations that are receptive to the candidate journey WILL win out.

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The wave of machine-led recruitment is in full-swing. Sifting through candidates manually is so last decade… but one of the main challenges of introducing tech to the recruitment process is losing empathy in the talent selection process. Cold hard facts are used to filter through the large number of applicants for each position. And we end up with the small number of quality candidates that match the experience, qualifications and desired historical results. As the world moves to support efficient models of work, we are told that this is effective. But what if we miss out on people who are incredibly talented but just don’t quite hit the criteria? The simple answer is that we miss out.

Talent That Cannot Be Measured

There are certain talents that just can’t be measured via simple statistics. And let’s not kid ourselves that tech solutions are anything other than algorithms masquerading as intelligence. Do we think for one second that the likes of Steve Jobs of Jeff Bezos would pass many of the current recruitment tests used by organizations? That’s because they had other skills that have driven their companies to be among the highest valued in history.

And so, with this in mind, we need to consider the human touch in these systems. Taking the human away completely will leave you with an efficient and cost-effective recruitment system but may leave your organization hiring more of the same. Recruitment, like many other business functions, goes through waves. We used to look solely at experience and qualifications. In short, we wanted people who had the skills and hoped they would fit with the team. Then the world turned. We then looked for the right fit and developed talent in-house. Leaning heavily on talent technology turns the world back again.

Streamlining Isn’t Everything

People at the other end of the piece of technology are the most important person in the process. If your talent technology is over automated you end up excluding certain potential candidates and create a void where empathy used to exist in the process. Cognative empathy is a type of empathy that can be a huge asset in circumstances where you need to put yourself in the shoes of someone else or interact with tact and understanding. Without considering your candidates journey and using heavy automation you often end up drastically reducing the available pool of talent. A smaller pool of talent statistically means smaller talent.

We look at saving time and money as the best measure of our business expenditure. But the best result in recruitment is to get the best talent through the door at the lowest cost. Just looking at cost can leave you with a less-than-best-fit employee and you start the whole process again.

How Do You Mitigate Against This?

If you are launching a new talent technology platform then ensure it is well tested before it is let loose. Simply measuring metrics leaves gaps in the process that will miss out on some incredible talent. Try your tech out on existing team members to see how it performs and whether or not they would recommend the experience. If your existing team ‘pass’ the tests and approve, then you might consider it ready for the wider world. If they don’t then look at what you can fix. You may also consider running your manual screening practices alongside automated filtering software for a few months. Analyze the difference in your selection choices and determine how much quality is being filtered out. If the number is minimal then you have further reinforced the benefit of the automated approach. If differences are significant it may be worth doing a deeper study to determine how to mitigate missing out on some of that talent.

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