The economic impact of Coronavirus in the UK (and around the world) has so far been huge, with some comparing the situation to the “Great Recession” of 2008. So recruitment is also feeling the impact and just like 2008 this situation has made the job market more competitive than ever for project management practitioners of every hue.
Whilst many employed practitioners have not felt the full impact of the pandemic as they are either working from home on furlough, the Project Management domain has a large number of practitioners who operate as freelance, many through their own PSC as can be seen in the graph below (results from the 2020 PMBR) and they have unfortunately found themselves out of contract and struggling to access the support schemes on offer from the Government.
All this combined will mean that as the UK starts to reopen and organisations are in need of Project Professionals there will be a significant increase in the amount of competition for available roles, both permanent and freelance.
Even with the limited activity, we have seen in terms of recruitment over the last 10 weeks of lockdown this is something we have already started to see from a recruiter’s point of view. A recent vacancy on our job board received over 190 applications with only 5 being able to move onto the interview stage.
With this being the case, its now more important than ever to stand out from the crowd in terms of your job hunting.
Update your CV
One of the lessons from 2008 was that many job seekers had not been active in the market for many years and as such were not prepared for the task in hand. Like every market, recruitment evolves and so does the expectations around CV’s. Not working or on furlough, this is a great opportunity to invest some time in updating your CV based on industry best practice.
Remember the Power of Tailoring Your CV for Every Role
This is a mistake we still see being made by so many applicants. But it’s an important part of the application process and one of the key ways you’ll get your CV past the gatekeeper which may well be a machine!
You need to play the game in order to win.
You need to make sure your CV includes as many of the job specification keywords as possible. Technology is everywhere in modern-day recruitment and “keyword matching” fuels so much of it. If you have used an alternate wording to the job spec it may get picked up if the agency has loaded the right synonyms; if not it won’t get picked up, even if the words mean the same thing.
You can read a previous blog about CV Keywords >>>Key Word Bingo.
Invest in Your Own Personal Development
Whereas in the recent past the Report on Jobs has put Project Managers in a candidates market (demand outstripping supply) in some sectors, we anticipate that the reverse will be true as the UK economy emerges from lockdown.
In many cases hiring managers will once again have the luxury of being more choosy with applicants and the economic climate will mean less money to spend on training and development, so they will likely go for the applicant who already has training and qualifications, rather than providing the resources to put someone through it.
If you have any training or personal development you have been meaning to do, now may be the perfect time to do it (you can train whilst on furlough). We don’t know how long this competitive market will last for and having some fresh training which complements your experience may help provide a boost if/when you are looking for your next role.
Update Your Profile / Register with Arras People
Whatever your situation we would strongly recommend that you register with Arras People for FREE or update your profile so the team has your latest details when we are looking to match project management practitioners to our open roles. We will never share your details without speaking to you first in order to meet high compliance standards.
Unsure what to do next? We also provide 1-2-1 career advice sessions to help you in your search.