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How to use a hot job market to build your career

Posted on Sep 27, 2021

Right now, employers are more willing to take a risk on someone that is not 100% qualified

If you’re looking for work right now, you’ve probably heard that it’s a hot job market. It’s true that prospective employees have the advantage at the moment in Australia. Unemployment is low and in many industries, there are a shortage of candidates. 

However, we’ve noticed that even when candidates are aware that it’s a favourable job market, they can still be hesitant when applying for certain jobs they perceive as beyond them. So how can you best make this situation work in your favour? 

Go for opportunities

Nobody likes rejection, but the old expression ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’ rings true. If you want to secure a better job you have to be willing to put yourself out there and apply for roles that will develop your career. 

It’s important to note that companies are regularly hiring candidates that don’t fit the advertised criteria. If you’re only 80% qualified for a role that interests you – apply. In fact, it’s still worthwhile going for jobs that you have just 60% of the qualifications for. 

Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t able to secure interviews right away. When applying for career growth roles, you’re likely to get less responses than when applying for jobs at your current level, but keep at it and you will reap the rewards. 

Let your personality shine

Once you’ve successfully lined up an interview for a role that’s a step up for your career, it’s time to win the interviewer over by highlighting your best attributes. You’ll want to demonstrate your achievements in previous roles and show how this prior experience is translatable to the job you’re going for.

The interview is also an important time to let your personality shine through. Try not to let nerves get in the way. Be enthusiastic about the role and company. Make sure you ask questions. Let the interviewer see winning aspects to your personality, such as your positivity and professionalism. Remember that confidence is reassuring.

Demonstrate your adaptability

If you’re going for a role that you’re not fully qualified for, it’s advantageous to highlight your adaptability and aptitude for learning. Show that you are keen to invest in training and education programs to improve your skills, either through the company or independently. Indicate how well you cope with change and give examples, such as talking about how readily you adjusted to working from home during the pandemic.

Companies are usually looking to hire the most qualified candidate, but many times this doesn’t happen. Sometimes there’s a less qualified candidate who is able to convince the interviewer of their worthiness for the role. This type of candidate is adept at demonstrating not only their current attributes but also their projected future skills. Other times companies only receive applicants that don’t fully meet the criteria – this actually happens more than you might think. 

We can all be a bit resistant to change at times. We stay in jobs that are comfortable and familiar, even if we’re not entirely happy. However, with the current employment market and candidate shortage favouring job seekers, employers are more likely to take a chance on someone that is not 100% qualified. If you’re looking to build your career, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone, because there are so many opportunities to be found right now.