Mission Possible: getting a job in a highly competitive market

May 30, 2018


The markets are looking good these days and more and more educated, bright applicants are competing for that one precious vacancy in those companies that everybody wants to work for. Competition for a great job has become truly global. So, what do you need to do to increase your chances of getting a job in a highly competitive market?  

Some companies are getting hundreds of applications a day. When you have so many applicants to review, the job becomes more about “the process of weeding out those who give you any red flags,” as described by Paul Wolman, founder and CEO of Feats, a US-based events agency.

Therefore you should start by making sure that your CV corresponds to the job you’re applying for and you follow all the application instructions, to the letter. Make sure your cover letter and CV are customised and don’t contain a single mistake. “It is amazing how many people apply without taking the time to reshape their cover letter or resume to fit what we’re looking for. They don’t have a chance,” says Paul Wolman.

So, your CV is great and you can say that you love not just the industry, but are among its greatest enthusiasts. There’s a good chance you’ll be invited to an interview — this is your real chance to show yourself, so be prepared:

– Carefully study the website of the company you’ve applied to as well as other publicly-available information about it.

– Make sure you focus your research on the company’s culture. Think of ways in which you would fit into it.

– Anticipate behavioural-based interview questions, now widely used by HR managers. Imagine different work situations and think through how you’d react in each. Prepare your arguments.

Last but not least, show your gratitude after the interview. “It is unbelievable how few people send a thank-you note,” says Lori Kleiman, a Chicago-based human resources consultant. “The people who do send one go right to the top of the pile. It can be by email, two quick sentences saying, ‘Thank you so much for your time. I’m excited about our conversation, and I look forward to hearing the next steps.’”

When you feel you’ve done everything you can, but you didn’t get the job, don’t be upset for long — the game is not over. First, try to get feedback from those who interviewed you, even just a few sentences of advice would help. Then, get back to your skill set and try to understand skills might have failed you or you need to catch up on.


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