How to Stand out in the London Job Market - Broke in London

How to Stand out in the London Job Market

Land your dream job in the capital with these top tips!

Guest post by Seetal Rihal

Employment rates in London have been on the rise—not a surprise considering over 216,000 new businesses were registered in the capital by the end of 2018. In the first quarter of 2019, there were 4.7 million Londoners in work, marking an increase of 32,000 compared to the previous year.

With the endless possibilities for jobs in the capital, recent graduates and experienced job seekers alike are likely to come up against some tough competition. As such, making yourself stand out in the market has never been more crucial, and the process starts well before you’re invited for an interview.

Create a killer CV

The first step in landing your dream job is to submit the best application you can. Since this is what gives recruiters their first impression of you—along with your cover letter—it’s critical that you ace this. The opening profile section is perhaps the part you need to pay special attention to. As explained by the recruiters at Salt, it is effective to keep this section short and concise. As a guide, they recommend keeping the section to no longer than six sentences, making up around 200 words. Salt also suggests leaving out any so-called “generic skills” such as “‘written and verbal communication or ‘proficiency at MS Word’”. Instead, you should focus more on industry-specific skills, including any specialised software or programs.

While you may have one CV that you send out with every application, it may work in your favour to tailor it to each job. For example, more corporate jobs may respond well to a résumé that focuses on your employment history and education. However, startups and creative companies may prefer applications which show off your personality as well as your skills. Take the time to analyse the job description, and do some research into the company, to make sure your CV will catch the recruiter’s eye.

Network with industry experts

There is no denying the power of professional networking. It’s been reported that around 60% of jobs are found this way, so meeting with industry experts is highly recommended for the sake of your continued professional development. Your professional network could be made up of former colleagues, friends, family, or old classmates, all of whom may be able to put you in touch with their own contacts, allowing you to expand your network.

While you don’t have to attend networking events, it is recommended as a way to make relationships with your contacts more meaningful. Studies have shown that face-to-face meetings result in stronger connections with others, while they also allow you to get to know someone’s personality a little better. However, it is still possible to network online. Whether you make a name for yourself with a professional Twitter account or rely on building your LinkedIn network, social media is ideal for growing and maintaining corporate relationships. Having these contacts online also makes it more likely that you will see any job opportunities as soon as they’re advertised.

Carefully prepare for the interview

Being called in for an interview means you’ve wowed your prospective employer with your first impression, so it’s crucial that you meet their expectations in person. Go through your submitted CV alongside their job description, making sure you know exactly what skills you need to draw attention to during your interview. This research can also give you the chance to highlight anything new you can bring to the role which may not have been included in the job description.

It’s also a good idea to research the company to find out any information about its history, and the team you could be working with. Taking the time to explore their website or online presence will hint to the interviewer that you have a vested interest in working for the company, while giving you ideas of any additional questions you could ask. You’ll also be able to figure out whether the dress code for the role is more corporate or more relaxed. In any case, remember it’s always recommended to be overdressed than underdressed.

You should also think about what to take with you to the interview. In some cases, it’s appropriate to take a portfolio of your work, such as samples of your writing if it’s a content role, or successful projects if you’re a designer. And most importantly of all, you should try and keep calm and confident, as this will give you the most positive body language, which your interviewers will pick up on.