14 things you must do to get your next job
This year's changing job market has forced many workers and jobseekers to quickly adapt - reimagining their roles or moving into new industries altogether.
Workplace expert Michelle Gibbings said jobs for life and recession-proof careers no longer existed.
"Surviving this environment requires more effort, focus and deliberate action," she said.
She shared her top tips for preparing for whatever the future holds:
"Proactively determine what any current and potential future changes may mean for you, your profession and industry," the author of Career Leap: How to Reinvent and Liberate your Career said.
"You (will be) better able to decide the action to take because you will more readily notice where there are gaps and opportunities in the market to pursue."
CRITICALLY EXAMINE YOUR CAREER
"Be clear on the value you offer prospective employers," she said.
"It's essential to be able to articulate that value and explain how you can help an organisation, business or client achieve their objectives."
CHOOSE A CAREER WITH CONNECTION
Despite the current focus on COVID-19, artificial intelligence and automation are also disrupting the way we work.
Ms Gibbings said people in caring, technology and knowledge roles would be least affected by new technology, while technicians, processors and people doing predictable physical work would be most affected.
"What can't be automated is the relational, emotional and leadership skills needed for work," she said.
"Having strong self-awareness and emotional intelligence is just as important as the technical skills a person uses in their work."
BECOME A CONTINUAL LEARNER
Ms Gibbings recommended workers keep up with the latest thinking in their profession as well as complementary occupations and industries.
"Read books on topics that expand your knowledge base, undertake micro-credentials or
enrol in online courses to acquire new skills," she said.
"Meeting new people will help to expand your awareness of potential next steps, how things are changing and what new opportunities are opening up," Ms Gibbings said.
"As part of this process, identify the core people in your network who make up your career advisory board - a sponsor, mentor or career coach - who help you navigate and adapt to the changing working world."
HOW TO ACE YOUR VIDEO INTERVIEW
The use of video interviews has surged this year as social distancing restrictions have made some in-person interviews impossible.
HireVue head of assessments Tom Cornell said the virtual interviewing and assessments platform experienced an almost 1000 per cent increase in live video interviews in Australia between January to March and September.
"Video interviews are now a fact of life however, if you haven't taken one before it can be a novel experience," he said.
Mr Cornell shared his top tips for success:
PREPARE AS YOU WOULD FOR ANY INTERVIEW
"Always do some research about the job and company," he said.
"Spend some time thinking about how your skills align with the job requirements.
"Reflect on relevant experiences and challenges you've faced, approaches you took, and results you achieved at previous jobs or in education and become comfortable talking about your previous (and current) roles."
CREATE THE PERFECT INTERVIEW ENVIRONMENT
"Since you can interview from anywhere, make sure it's somewhere where you're comfortable," he said.
"Ensure you've got the strongest Wi-Fi signal possible.
"Make sure (lighting) is in front of you.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
"As with in-person, video interviews require you to give your answer in just a few minutes," he said.
"It's helpful to think about how you will illustrate your skills clearly in that time frame, and to practice them out loud. You could even try practice answering questions by recording yourself on a smartphone, tablet, or computer, even before you take your interview to get used to answering on camera."
SET ASIDE EXTRA TIME
"Most (video) interviews take roughly 20-30 minutes to complete (but) having an hour allows you to take your time, practice, and give the best answers," he said.
"Don't panic if you have a technical hiccup.
"Occasionally you'll still run into a technical issue, like background noise or another distraction.
"Just apologise for the interruption and continue with the question asked."
"Don't worry about making eye contact with the camera," he said.
"Just speak and focus in the way that makes you comfortable.
"Get excited and share your energy with the camera, letting your personality shine."
HOW TO STAND OUT
In a competitive job market, savvy jobseekers must look for ways to give themselves an edge and help them stand out in a crowd.
Hender Careers principal consultant Paul Bell shares his top tips:
HIGHLIGHT ACHIEVEMENTS, NOT JUST RESPONSIBILITIES
Mr Bell said this was the best way for jobseekers to help their resume stand out.
"Effective achievement statements should state an action you took to improve a situation,
explain how that action benefited the organisation, and the result of the action should be quantified or qualified - for example 'achieved a cost reduction of 25 per cent'," he said.
"Beware of writing down achievements that are really role responsibilities or things you
should be doing anyway."
MENTION INTERESTS, HOBBIES, COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Mr Bell said this section of a resume was underrated.
"These activities could act as possible differentiators between you and other candidates," he said.
"For example, people who are active in the community through volunteering can reinforce positive personal values systems; people who play a lot of sport can reinforce traits such as teamwork, goal setting, focus."
He said common interests in this section could also help build rapport with the employer at the interview stage.
MAKE A PHONE CALL
Before writing the cover letter, Mr Bell recommended calling the company with a good question about the role.
"If you present well on the phone and are able to discuss your background then you may be able to … make an initial positive impression," he said.
"You will then be able to commence your cover letter with 'As previously discussed by phone
on (date), I wish to apply …'."
SHOWCASE YOUR LIKABILITY
Mr Bell said the main reason for an interview was to assess whether a candidate's personality would gel or clash with potential colleagues.
He recommended displaying "likability" with attentive posture, good eye contact, smiling and a sense of humour.
However, personality alone would not guarantee success.
"People who are well prepared but have no personality or presence are less likely to succeed
in interviews, as are people who are charming but have obviously not done the homework," he said.
MORE FROM JOBS 360
Originally published as 14 things you must do to get your next job