How can I get my job applications noticed as a senior level candidate?
Whilst data highlights an estimated one in six 18-24 year olds are claiming out-of-work benefits (July 2020), the picture can look rosier for those aged between 25-64, for whom unemployment rates have largely remained stable. However, with furlough winding down and many businesses making financial forecasts, a process of restructuring to a leaner business model may be necessary, resulting in redundancies at executive and managerial levels. This is all too clear amongst high street retailers, with M&S announcing layoffs across store management and head office roles other retailers and businesses are expected to follow a similar pattern. Because layoffs are most likely to occur amongst younger demographics, who often hold less experience and qualifications, being made redundant as a senior and executive level employee can be difficult to digest. With a lot of help being directed towards younger demographics, it can feel as though you are forgotten when it comes to government job creation schemes and hiring incentives. This is especially pertinent in today’s job market, where a reduction of more than 50% in job vacancies compared to January - March 2020 means market competition, especially for managerial and executive level roles, is higher than ever. How can I get my job applications noticed? The competition may be as intense as ever, but that does not mean you don’t have the same concerns about being noticed in the job market as a junior level candidate. What is different is how you need to adapt your job search activities to maximise return. Don’t apply for anything and everything You have probably heard everyone say that tailoring your applications is the most effective way to get results, so it is worth getting the basics right before taking a leap further. We strongly advise you to take a quality over quantity approach. Though earning is a priority, you are more likely to be successful in gaining employment when applying for jobs that directly match your skill set and interests. Don’t be afraid to reach out If you see a job advertised for a specific company, don’t be afraid to reach out to the hiring manager personally. Even if you send a simple email or Linkedin message with a couple of questions about the role, actively creating and engaging in conversations with relevant stakeholders may make you more memorable once you have submitted your application. Doing this shows you are actively interested in the role and are willing to be engaged with the company, providing you with a small advantage over those who submit impersonal applications. Show don’t tell As a senior level candidate we advise you to include elements like financial and marketing results, achievements and specific examples of management experience within your CV and cover letters. But outside of this, one way to make a mark is to show employers what you are capable of. This may require some creative thinking and ‘outside the box’ work, but going the extra mile is a fantastic way to prove your interest in the company and a role whilst highlighting your skills and capabilities. As a marketing or communications professional, you may wish to include a portfolio within your application (click here to find out what you can include) or create a case study on the company you are applying to. If you work in the management, digital or technology sectors, identifying and creating solutions to a problem the employer may be facing is an ideal way to stand out. We have personally seen applications from marketing managerial and executive level candidates who create a short marketing strategy for the firm, branding experts and graphic designers who take a leap and create something new, and even SEO and digital experts who find ways a brand may improve their digital presence. Be active in your industry and develop a personal brand The word personal brand is thrown around a lot these days, but it is as important as ever. Personal branding goes deeper than connecting with a few people on Linkedin and attending a digital webinar, it involves keeping up to date with industry news, generating conversations with key figures and sharing your knowledge and expertise to a wider audience. In short, you become engaged and active within your industry. Whilst saying this may lead to a connection with a potential job lead is not always the most accurate statement as it is purely a stroke of luck, keeping your profile active (especially across Linkedin) conveys a positive message to employers searching your name across the internet. Showing your passion, knowledge and even your own external connections can help to boost credibility surrounding your applications and can be a fantastic way to influence employers to give you a chance. For a deeper insight into the things you can do to enhance your applications, you can download our PDF here. For those of you who are looking for work, we are working hard with our industry partners to bring you more roles across the Marketing, PR, Digital, Creative and Commercial/Sales space in the Midlands and country wide, so keep an eye on our job board for new additions. Image credit: Header: Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels