How To Get Hired In A Highly Competitive Job Market
There’s no doubt that looking for a job during a pandemic is exceptionally challenging. Right now, millions are furloughed, underemployed or out of work. The United States unemployment rate was 6.7% (with 10 million+ unemployed) in November 2020, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics latest news release. While this number has declined over the last six months, it’s not close to the 3.5% level reported in February 2020.
That said, looking for a job in a booming economy isn’t easy either. When people feel confident in finding another job, they often decide to begin exploring opportunities. As they move from being passive job seekers (those who need to be enticed to move) to active job seekers, competition for plum positions grows.
The truth is, standing out from your competition is essential in any job market. It’s particularly important when you’re pursuing executive roles. One of the most effective ways to do that is by establishing yourself as a thought leader. Someone that people can recognize as an authority in their industry.
While you can’t become a thought leader overnight, you can begin working toward that today by providing value to your colleagues and community.
Share Industry News
Executives need to keep up with industry trends. If you’re an executive or targeting those roles, you’re likely staying up to date on emerging technology, economic shifts, market forecasts and more. Start sharing a few of these noteworthy reads as LinkedIn posts at least twice a week.
Make it easy to gather articles of interest by signing up for a news aggregator. These services collect information from around the web and serve it to you in one location. There are numerous news aggregators — Apple News, Flipboard and Feedly, to name a few.
Share What You Know
Writing articles is a skillful way to demonstrate your knowledge. Many outlets, including LinkedIn, Medium and Thrive Global, allow you to post pieces you write. You can then highlight these articles in your LinkedIn profile’s “featured” section and share them as LinkedIn posts.
Being active in your industry is another way to share what you know. Many national industry associations have websites, publications and events. You can submit articles for publication and pitch yourself as a speaker for a local event or annual conference. Then you can post links to these events on your LinkedIn profile.
Share Your Insights
Another way to raise your profile on LinkedIn is by interacting with other members. Follow your target employers, recruiters who work for them and leaders in your industry. Reading and commenting on their posts allows you to show your expertise. These exchanges can also lay the groundwork for future relationships.
These activities — sharing industry news, sharing knowledge and sharing insights on LinkedIn — will help build your reputation as an expert in your field. And that will serve you well in any job market.
First, LinkedIn is one of the most popular recruiting platforms. According to Jobvite’s 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey, 72% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates. With LinkedIn reporting to have 722+ million members, it’s even more crucial to stand out.
Second, LinkedIn will be the first stop for employers impressed with your resume, people you meet at networking events and hiring managers who were given your name to fill a possible opening. Active, engaged member profiles are more compelling than stagnant profiles with no activity in months.
Finally, being active on LinkedIn will keep you in front of your contacts, which may make them think of you when a position opens.
Job hunting during the pandemic has been unbelievably challenging. Rampant unemployment has resulted in a highly competitive job market. Still, there are jobs out there, and people are getting hired.
Conveying your value has always been key to a successful job search. In these tumultuous times, differentiating yourself is more critical than ever. Being recognized as an authority in your industry — a thought leader — can give you the competitive edge you need to thrive in today’s job market and beyond.
This article first appeared on Forbes, December 14, 2020.