As the competition for work grows and the job market becomes even more competitive, staying ahead of the crowd is crucial. Therefore, in order to be successful, a candidate not only has to plan and prepare better than anyone else – but also refine their social skills. This involves a variety of steps, and goes further than just having a good resume or keeping your licenses and work tickets up to date. It means being one step ahead in many other ways. For example, a recent survey conducted by university admissions group NoGRE, found positions requiring strong analytical skills – such as critical thinking and computer literacy – had increased 77 per cent over the past three decades.

It also found jobs that need strong interpersonal, management and communication skills had increased by 83 per cent. According to NoGRE, succeeding in the job market means adopting habits and routines that allow you to continuously learn, stay flexible and be open to change. Obviously, having a killer resume is also important. When you consider that, on average, up to 250 resumes are submitted for every job opening, this can be crucial. Without a great resume – or even one with minor issues – your chances of rising above the crowd are greatly hindered. Therefore, it is hugely important to keep your resume clear, concise and up-to-date.

Keeping in regular touch with possible employers is also critical for job candidates. And when you do submit your resume – whether there is a job opening at that time or not – it often pays to maintain a friendly connection with the person handling the applications. At least then when an opportunity does arise, you will most likely find yourself ‘front and centre’ of that person’s mind, when the time comes to fill the position. Another good way to put yourself ahead of the competition is to differentiate yourself from the other candidates. In this case, even a phone call or a visit to the company to request more information can give you the lead. This is all about going the extra mile and letting the employers know you are there, and that you are really interested in working for them.

The other area that can really pay dividends when looking for that dream job, or any job for that matter, is networking. Many people forget the importance of networking, and mistakenly believe it is not as important as sending your resume, for example. On the contrary, connecting with other professionals within the industry is a hugely important way of getting the job you want; together with signing up with a good labour hire agency. And remember that as long as you know who you want to work for and why you want to work there, it pays to be constantly working in that direction. A good idea is to keep practicing ‘networking with a purpose’ – in order to see how much you can achieve by just focusing on that one thing.

Create A Personal Brand
Developing a personal brand is another good way to draw attention to your skills when applying for a job. This not only helps employers remember you – but also assists you in standing out from the competition – by showing your creativity and individuality. Obviously, keeping up to date with new technology is also crucial in today’s hugely competitive job market. In fact, this is one of the most important things you can do to stay relevant when job seeking.

In today’s ‘tech-savvy’ world it is vital to be on top of new developments; so take a moment to think about the technologies used in your industry, and then familiarise yourself with them and learn how they work. Practice ‘up-skilling’ in order to gain the new and relevant skills you need to stay ahead of the crowd. By looking for any ‘weak links’ in your skill sets – you can then find ways to correct these through education or experience. Take classes online or at college, attend workshops, volunteer, or even take on part-time jobs. And finally, by acting on some or all of these activities, you should soon be able to secure the job you really want.