It’s a new year, so it’s a time that many people think about trying something new. For you, this might mean exploring new job opportunities. In this article we’ve outlined the best ways to approach finding a new job in 2022.
The current state of the market
Firstly, to know how to navigate the job market, it’s important to understand the current conditions.
Last year the market was turbulent because of the pandemic, but by the end of the year the market was strong. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points on the quarter to 4.2 per cent by the end of October. More people were back in work, including those who had been on the furlough scheme until it ended in September.
This general market trend also applied to public sector employment where the number of employees increased in September 2021 by 0.4% in comparison to June.
Yet, at the same time, the number of job vacancies continued to grow as the effects of the pandemic began to soften and organisations looked to expand. Between September and November, the number of opportunities had increased to more than 1.2 million. However, by November the rate of this expansion had begun to slow somewhat.
This increase in vacancies was paired with a skills shortage due to hundreds of thousands of people leaving the workforce during the pandemic, meaning employers struggled to hire new staff.
For jobseekers such as yourself this means that, for now, the market continues to be led by you. Jobseekers have a greater range of opportunities to choose from and have more leverage to demand the conditions they want. Further benefits for jobseekers include increases in starting pay due to the imbalance between supply and demand.
How to job search in 2022
Update your CV
A straightforward CV that outlines your most relevant and recent experience is key to finding a new job. And although there are plenty of jobs out there, you’ll still be competing with others, so you want to have the best chance of standing out.
Here are some best practice guidelines to follow:
- Update your CV with your most recent experience and achievements
- Include up-to-date contact information
- Add a short profile at the top of your CV outlining your skills and positive attributes
- Make sure it’s easy to scan (hiring managers and recruiters are busy people)
- Ensure it’s not longer than 2 pages
- Don’t include photos
- Double check your spelling and grammar
Ideally, you should tailor your CV for every job you apply for, but having a good template as a starting point will save you time and can be used if you don’t have time to customise it for a specific vacancy.
When tailoring your CV, read the job description and include relevant keywords that apply to your experience to ensure your CV is searchable in hiring managers’ and recruiters’ systems.
For more guidance on how to write an effective CV, read our full CV writing guide.
Write a well-crafted cover letter
A cover letter isn’t always necessary as part of an application. We don’t require them at Morgan Hunt for example. However, other companies or job boards often require them, so it’s worth doing. And even if they’re not necessary, following up your application with a cover letter can be a good way to differentiate yourself from other applicants.
In a nutshell, your cover letter should explain the why behind your application. Why you think you’re right for the job and why you’re interested in that specific role or organisation.
You can read our guide to learn how to write an effective cover letter.
Finding the right jobs
Given the number of vacancies out there, there’s more than enough to choose from. So how do you find the best ones, or the ones you’re most suited to? We recommend using a variety of methods to support your search which will give you exposure to all available opportunities and allow you to pick right ones.
Make your searches specific
When searching for jobs on Google or other websites, use keywords related to the type of job you want and the responsibilities you’d like to have. Being specific and using more keywords will narrow down the number of results, so you’ll only see the most relevant jobs for you.
Use a recruitment agency
Having a recruitment consultant working for you who understands your skills and what you’re looking means you’ll be put forward for suitable roles without having to do the heavy lifting yourself. This can save you a lot of time and effort.
Another benefit is that many employers don’t advertise roles themselves and will exclusively use recruitment agencies, so using an agency can get you access to jobs that are not being advertised.
Set up job alerts
Job alerts are another great way to automate your search. Google Jobs alerts are especially useful as they will pull jobs from across the internet and email them to you. To set these up, perform your search in Google Jobs. Next, turn on job alerts at the bottom left of the page.
Many other sites, such as job boards, support job alerts too. You can also sign up to Morgan Hunt job alerts to be notified about the best and most recent public sector jobs.
Update your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn isn’t for everyone or every type of profession, but for most it’s a great way to network with others in your current or desired industry and set yourself up to be contacted about opportunities.
You should update your LinkedIn profile like you would your CV by including your most recent and most relevant experience. With the extra space you have to work with on LinkedIn you can also include information about your specific interests, career aspirations or other skills you have.
All the information you provide in your profile summary and experience is searchable by other people on LinkedIn, so recruiters will be able to find you for relevant vacancies they’re hiring for.
Practice for interviews
It goes without saying that to get a job, you will need to interview for it if your application is successful. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, so being confident is important. But interviews can be nerve-wracking, so to avoid making mistakes you will later regret, practice for your interviews.
You should research the company and the role you are applying for, not only to demonstrate your interest in the job, but to help you come up with your own questions for things you’d like to know more about. Asking questions in the interview reflects well on you and will help you decide if the role is what you are looking for.
When it comes to answering their questions, make sure you prepare for general questions beforehand. You will want to provide relevant examples of work you’ve done that match the skills they’re looking for, so make sure you’re familiar with your experience. Writing all your experience out can be a helpful exercise to do this.
Here are some examples of basic interview questions you might face:
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What do you think makes you right for this job?
- Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?
- What attracted you to this company/organisation?
Now go find your next job
By applying the tips in this article, you’ll be able to navigate the current job market with ease. Use them and we’re confident that you’ll find the right job for you in no time.
If you are looking for support in your job search and are interested in opportunities within the public sector, why not explore the vacancies we’re currently recruiting for or submit your CV to us through our Quick Drop CV tool – it takes less than a minute.