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Getting noticed in a competitive job market is never easy. If you are looking for a new job, you have probably noticed that you are not alone. In fact, at times you can feel like just another face in the crowd. Clients are more demanding and therefore you need to stand out. How do you do this? We all know that getting a little tipsy at a networking event may get you noticed but not for the right reasons!

So let’s start with your CV. However you first engage with a recruiter or potential employer they will want to see your CV. For this reason make sure it is up to date and ready to send. Any delay in sending your CV sends out the wrong message and raises questions about your commitment. Make sure you review your CV, making sure it is well laid out and highlights the areas that make you unique and relevant to the jobs you wish to apply for. Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet; make a list of your key achievements and how what you have done has impacted the business. This is your first opportunity to sell yourself but don’t lie or exaggerate, employers can spot a ‘blag’ a mile away.

Secondly, you need to make sure you make the right first impression. Treat all calls and meetings professionally – remember a potential employer has engaged a recruiter to find the right person for them and a good recruiter will want to represent his/her client accordingly by ensuring the right candidates are put in front of them. They will not risk losing the trust they have gained from their clients by putting a candidate in front of them that has not impressed them.

Once at interview stage, find out everything you can about the interviewers and the company. Look them up on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter etc – this will help you to know what may impress them, annoy them, or where you may share a common interest. In the interview, be yourself, be friendly, honest and open. The more personal the connection you make and the more they like you as a person, the better chance you have of being chosen for the job.

Following the interview, thank the interviewers for their time and express your interest. Furthermore, feed back to your recruiter as soon as possible. Show that you are keen and another small step is completed.

None of the above is rocket science, but you would be surprised. The market does not allow you to trust that the right job will just find you. If you are serious about a job move, you need to be proactive, and make sure that you are top of mind when the next ‘perfect’ job comes in. You do not want to be overlooked because you did not make the right decisions in the first place.

And lastly, stay positive, even if the job search takes longer than you had hoped; you have been noticed and will not be forgotten.

Julia Thomas
Senior Consultant, Government & Stakeholder Relations Practice - VMA Group