Commentary: With so many job vacancies out there, how do you apply for the right one?

Determine what transferable skills you can bring to the role: How much of your know-how forged from work experiences, internships, volunteering and hobbies is relevant to the job description?

Soft skills, such as communication and project management, are transferable across many sectors. Consider expanding your skills repertoire – whether through courses or workshops – to fill gaps. This can show prospective employers that you have the initiative to learn and adapt, an advantage in a tight labor market.

For instance, with footfall shrinking during the pandemic, retailers had to acquire new competencies in digital marketing instead of relying on traditional advertising like handing out flyers. Government-supported training programs helped them learn more about digital engagement and search engine optimization to reach larger audiences.

About half (51 per cent) of respondents in an Institute of Policy Studies study felt they had learned new skills during the pandemic which will help in their careers.

BUILD AND TAP ON YOUR NETWORKS

Of course, there’s a limit to how much research can tell you about job roles. Sniff out opportunities from people you know – work contacts, neighbors, schoolmates or lecturers.

Even if you aren’t close to them, people are often happy to share information about jobs, industries and even give referrals.

If they might have a lead to share, let them know you’re actively seeking employment. They are more likely to help and support you if you’ve been in active contact with them.

But for more dormant connections, be sure to reconnect with them over various stages and platforms to warm up the relationship and establish trust instead of abruptly going into your career aspirations.

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