Advancing your career in challenging market conditions
According to a recent poll by Monster Singapore, 85% of local employees are not happy with their current job, and will be looking for a change this year. In fact, only 8% of people polled said they were happy, while 7% were undecided.
If you’ve decided to change jobs this year, that’s one thing - but how are you actually going to go about it? In today’s competitive job market it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Making matters worse is the economic environment in Singapore, which pushed the unemployment rate up even as redundancies increased. According to a recent report by the Ministry of Manpower, the average unemployment rate in 2016 rose to its highest since recessionary levels in 2010.
So how do ensure your job search isn’t in vain? Here are a few steps to consider as you plan your exit from your current role.
Don’t limit yourself Applying for a job cold - i.e. at a business where you don’t know anyone or have a foot in the door - can work, but why not increase your chances? Think of jobs and companies you want to apply to and then tap into your network of friends, acquaintances and headhunters that might be able to put in a good word about you.
Having said that, don’t limit yourself to referrals alone. Go to networking events, get on job sites and update your social media profiles to improve your job prospects.
Tailor and target your CV Your CV is key to you getting an interview, so make sure it’s updated. Read the job description carefully and ensure your resume includes certain keywords that match. Many companies use software that picks up these keywords to match their descriptions. It’s important to feature recent accomplishments and highlight how you went above and beyond the call of duty.
If you ever helped out on a project outside of your scope, talk about it. Did you assist in a pitch because of your great public speaking skills, even though it wasn’t your account? Talk about it! These seemingly small aspects of your career can come across as a huge selling point when compiled together.
Timing is key Certain times of the year are always better for finding a new job. It might sound counter-intuitive to apply for jobs in December, but According to MOM’s labour market report, hiring at the end of the year increased compared to the contraction reported in the third quarter. Much of this has to do with the fact that many people are away for the holidays and the competition for jobs isn’t as intense. It is also the time employers plan their budgets for the new year and are well placed to make hiring decisions for the new year.
But don’t worry if you’ve missed the boat, hiring activity continues to stay strong in the first three months of the year. Go spread your wings!