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How Candidates can get noticed in one of the most competitive markets in the UK

Kate Allen, Executive Chair and Marketing Director, Allen Associates

With over 10 million people living, working and trying to make their way up the career ladder in London, it can sometimes seem a stifling experience trying to find your next role.

However, fear not, there are many solutions and methods to adapt your professional character in order to make the most of what you’ve got, and land those highly competitive positions.

Drawing upon our 20 years of helping Candidates secure their next role, here we take a look at some of the most effective tried and tested ways to getting your application seen and heard above the noise.

Increase your skillset

You may have caught wind of the phrase ‘skills shortage’. With a densely populated labour market, the most experienced workers do get snapped up quickly, and in order to stand out, it is highly advantageous to increase your skillset.

Whilst this doesn’t necessarily mean going back to university or college, advancing your education is certainly one pathway. But it has to be relevant to the career you are in, and the one you wish to pursue.

For example, those working in a marketing role may find great advantage in enrolling on a CIM course, while an HR professional may consider taking part in a CIPD accreditation. Advancing your education showcases a passion and real commitment to your profession. It also makes you an attractive proposition to potential Employers.

Indeed, with so many Candidates based in and around the capital, it is hard for Employers to find the people they really need. By having a professional and relevant qualification or accreditation on your CV, your application will stand out and grab the attention of those Recruiters and hiring managers who could hold the key to your next position.

Work on ‘Brand me’

Further qualifications aren’t your only option however. Finding a new role in an increasingly competitive Candidate market place like London takes a multi-strategy approach. Yes, you may have a great looking CV that is the envy of your peers, but that alone may not be enough to give you an edge.

Today, Employers are looking for Candidates who are not only a good fit for the role they are recruiting for, but also personality-wise too. It’s what we call a ‘personal brand’; the way you come across and the perception others have of you, can play an influencing role during the hiring process.

So, think about simple things such as creating a blog where you write about some of the key topics and issues facing your sector, and attending networking events. Both of these activities will raise your profile as someone who understands, and is knowledgeable about, their profession and is a familiar face within the local business community too. You never know the opportunities these things could create – just one person reading your blog, or a connection made at an event, could open the door to a new opportunity.

Use a specialist Recruitment firm

Whilst you can put all of your efforts into making yourself stand out as a Candidate, it is becoming increasingly hard to land the right placements. That’s where we come in. At Allen Associates, we take the time to get to know you and what you want, in order to source the best possible vocation.

Whilst using a specialist Recruitment firm is advantageous in terms of sourcing relevant roles, it also saves you valuable time…time to work on your LinkedIn profile, increase your skillset and gain invaluable insight and advice into what Employers are really looking for, and more importantly, how best to ‘sell’ yourself as the ideal Candidate.

It’s a tough market, particularly in London. But by positioning yourself as experienced and going above and beyond the traditional skillset, you can differentiate yourself and get the attention you deserve.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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