When searching for a new role, it’s easy to only consider brushing up on your technical expertise, making sure you are fully equipped with the skills modern employers are looking for. While this is undeniably an important step in finding new, gainful employment, it’s also important to brush up on your more general job seeking skills.

Five essential job-seeking skills

Job seekers have been given the same list of critical skills to brush up on for decades – things like careful follow-up, attention to grammar and punctuation, and great listening abilities. But in today’s overcrowded job market and with the ever-increasing pressures on hiring managers, job applicants have had to hone their skills in additional areas to stand out. With that said, here are our top five skills for modern job seekers to brush up on:

1. Developing a strong online presence

In today’s job market, the easiest way to get yourself out there is to create an online presence that showcases your past experiences and skills. Blogs and professional websites, such as LinkedIn, are often the best platforms to use when trying to stand out. Post your achievements, share industry-adjacent content, and upload your CV to these sites for prospective employers to see. Also, connect with people and brands in your field to grow your network and develop your online presence.

2. Learning how to network

Networking allows you to develop relationships and connections which can open opportunities to advance your career. But how do you get yourself out there? Start by attending job events and career fairs to increase your chance of meeting people who can aid you. The good news is that many networking events have had to go virtual due to pandemic restrictions and therefore drop costly attendance fees. Swap details with potential employers, even if it’s just an email address, as this will help boost your contact list. Then continue your networking via social media. Check out our networking guide for beginners for more advice on this topic.

3. Finding the right job for you

Before approaching any company, it’s essential to establish if it’s the right role for you. Not only do you need to fit in well with their values and ethos, but they also need to fit into yours. So, ask yourself, would you be happy working there? Would it boost your career? Would it give you the flexibility or work-life balance you need? Is the salary suitable for your level of expertise? These are all valuable things to consider before applying for a role.

4. Thinking like an employer

Alongside your qualifications, it’s your skills and experience that make you a desirable applicant to an employer. So, consider highlighting these in your CV and interviews:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Professionalism and strong work ethic 
  • Oral and written communications skills 
  • Leadership qualities.

It’s best to use real-life experiences and anecdotes to demonstrate how and when you’ve put them into practice.

5. Succeeding in an interview

For some, interviews can be the best part of the job-seeking process. However, they can be a nightmare if they go wrong. To avoid this, make sure you’ve done your research on the company before you arrive. First impressions matter when you interview, so show up on time and dress appropriately. Make sure you’re positive and engaged throughout the process, and don’t be afraid to ask your questions during or at the end of the interview. View our interview guide for more tricks and tips.