Hays outline the requirements from successful candidates.

The path to success.

Grant Torrens, regional director at Hays Singapore has supported the view that successful jobseekers will need to demonstrate the unique value they can potentially bring to a business if they wish to be employed. In addition to this they also need to show their willingness to adapt to change in the face of multifaceted disruptions.

“We have noticed that acquired skills are re-appearing in the priority list as technology begins to dominate the workplace.” says Torrens. “With ever-evolving industries, technologies, and consumer behaviour, the types of skills and expertise that businesses require will evolve correspondingly. Roles and functions will retain core principles, but the Fourth Industrial Revolution may alter and even expand specialisms. Candidates – all the more long-established professionals – who wish to prosper in their fields shouldn’t rest on their laurels but instead keep abreast of new industry developments, and constantly adapt and upskill where necessary.”

Here are seven ways to land your ideal role:

1. Build your personal brand

Corporations of every size do it. Successful politicians nail it. And candidates who want to differentiate themselves as a thought leader definitely put work into it. Branding, by definition according to the Oxford dictionary, is “the activity of giving a particular name and image to goods and services so that people will be attracted to them and want to buy them”. Building a personal brand is key to enhancing your employability and giving you an edge over a sea of candidates.

A great way to begin moulding your personal brand is through defining your unique selling propositions (USPs). Your USPs are a list of unique ways your skills and experience bring value to a business which other candidates may not possess. By communicating your USPs to hiring managers and recruiters, chances are you will be more memorable and held in higher regard than your competition.

2. Manage your online reputation

More and more hiring managers and recruiters are including online research as part of the background screening process. Do a quick search for your full name on Google and various social media platforms to suss out the type of results that may appear. If you are using your real or full name on non-professional social media accounts or keeping your profile public, ensure that your profiles and ‘feeds’ present you in the most favourable light. Letting your personality shine on social media will allow hiring professionals to understand what you are like as a person and gauge your suitability with a role at hand.

It also helps to be visible online. Consider having a portfolio website or a blog that showcases your expertise, or even contributing commentaries (as guest authors) that are relevant to your niche on renowned industry blogs or even on your own blog. Being active on social media platforms such as LinkedIn on Twitter also heightens your chances of getting found online. Read about how you can get found on LinkedIn. 

3. Highlight your acquired skills

Amid the worry that AI and automation might replace jobs, experts have found that these new technologies will, in fact, assist and complement a highly-skilled workforce. Sharpening your skills through a myriad of work experience, attending workshops and online courses, and regularly reading up on the latest industry developments will help you to stay relevant in your field of work.

4. Stay focused

Instead of grabbing every opportunity that may come your way, stay true to your niche. Employers are usually on the lookout for talents with the specialised skills that could tangibly value-add to the company. Being in a field of work for a longer period also lends credence to you as an expert. On the other hand, for candidates who do not have a consistent experience are usually seen as indecisive or irresolute. It always helps to be seen as an expert in one area, rather than being a jack at all trades and a master of none.

5. But be adaptable to change

Findings from our upcoming 2019 Asia Salary Guide found that of the 65 per cent of employers who are restructuring their department or organisation to keep up with business needs, a large majority of them have cited “change in required skills set” (50 per cent) as the main driver of such a decision, above reasons such as “requirement for more flexible workforce” (31 per cent) and “digital transformation” (30 per cent).

As such, candidates are urged to stay flexible and adaptable when given the opportunity to upskill. Disruptions such as technological advancements and global trends are inevitable, and they will reshape the skills required in the workforce. Being adaptable and open to changing old habits put candidates in the best position to stay relevant and employable.

6. Brush up on your communication skills

Good communication skills at work go beyond perfect enunciation and eloquent speech. It is also about being clear and confident when speaking with colleagues. After all, effective communication is a two-way process in which the receiver can fully comprehend what the speaker is saying.

During the interview stages when applying for a job, be sure to showcase your ability to not only communicate verbally but also display positive body language that naturally draws people toward you. Before and after the interview, don’t forget to be responsive in communications such as follow-up e-mails and phone calls. 

7. Know your interviewer(s)

Always make it a point to know who you will be meeting prior to an interview. Before meeting with your interviewer, request for his/her profile to understand his/her professional background. Otherwise, you could also do a quick research online on search engines or social media platforms ¬¬on which they are most likely to be active ¬such as LinkedIn or Twitter. Doing so will boost your confidence as you go into the interview equipped with knowledge about your interviewer’s profile and topics of interest, thus enabling you to say the right things to build a rapport with them and get off to a great start.

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