Tips for job hunting in a competitive job market

Published on: Tue, 16 Apr 2024
By: Claire , redwigwam

According to new figures, the UK job market is stalling. New figures from the ONS say there’s been a 4.2% rise in unemployment between December 2023 and February 2024, putting it at the highest level for six months.

In the same period, the rate of people with a job dipped, and the number of people who are economically inactive (so not in work or looking for employment) has also risen higher to 9.4 million people (22.2%). And on top, the number of job vacancies in the UK dropped by 13,000 between January and March.  

So – how do you find a new job when the outlook is so gloomy? 

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We’ve pulled together ten top tips to help you with your job search:

  1. Widen your search area. Lots of roles offer flexible working, remote working, or a hybrid solution, so finding work further away is a much more viable option than it used to be.

  2. Don’t always wait for a job advert. Got a dream job, or a company you are desperate to work for? Send your CV and a glittering cover letter and explain why you’d love to work for them. They may be about to advertise – or you could even have the skills they didn’t know you needed.

  3. Sharpen your skills and get learning! While you’re looking for work, sharpen your skills by enrolling for free online courses which can help fill any gaps in your CV and show potential employers you are serious about the roles you’re applying for.

  4. Get networking. Networking is an obvious way to meet people who are looking for staff. Have a look for events in your local area – you’ll often find ones which are free to attend where you’ll be able to meet peers and potential new employers!  

  5. Get social. LinkedIn is an obvious site to use for job searching – many recruiters, and businesses advertise roles on there, and they will almost certainly look at your profile if you apply for a role. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and remember to remain professional. You can also try some virtual networking on Facebook and X (Twitter) too – there are plenty of local groups to get started.

  6. It’s all about the experience. There’s no getting away from it, experience counts. And if you can’t find paid employment, why not try volunteering somewhere? Have a look at local food banks or charity shops as a start point, but there are lots of other places crying out for help where you can gain experience for your CV.

  7. Try an online platform. Redwigwam (amongst others) offers lots of flexible and one-off jobs in your local area. Get paid to buy and try products as part of your weekly shop, give merchandising a try, or even work as a brand ambassador. Have a look at the latest job opportunities – many can easily be done around your job hunt and will add experience to your CV as well as pennies to your bank account.

  8. Keep on searching. This may seem obvious, but the more you look, the more you’ll see. Set up job alerts, use a variety of different job titles and send your CV to different platforms and recruiters. In a volatile job market, you need to be on top of every opportunity – and they won’t necessarily come to you.

  9. Make sure your CV sparkles. In the current job market, roles tend to have a lot of applicants. So make sure your CV gets to the top of the pile. It pays to personalise your application as much as possible for each job you apply for. Pull out the skills you have which are relevant for that specific role, for example.

  10. Be ready. Are you ready for an interview should you be asked for one? They often happen quickly, with a first round usually over a video call. So be prepared – prep answers to some common questions and make sure you’re ready to shine. There are some top tips on acing a job interview over on this blog post. 


Looking for a more flexible way to work?

Nine to five doesn't exist in our world. Join redwigwam and find work that fits in around your lifestyle.