If you've got your sights set on landing a brand new job in 2019, you could be in luck with the ONS revealing that there were 848,000 UK job vacancies in September to November 2018- more than at any other time in the past 17 years. Unemployment is also at a low of 4.1% and this combination of low unemployment with a high number of job vacancies make it an ideal time to secure a new position.
50% of firms are set to up their hiring for 2019 says Global Consulting Firm Mercer, and one such UK firm set to do just that are travel brand Party Hard Travel. Head of Overseas Recruitment Jodie Pilgrim says that the firm will be recruiting 30 new team members for 2019 but advised that even in such a buoyant job market that there is much that candidates can do to increase their chances of success in finding a new job: "First off, get the basics right. Adapt your personal statement so that it's relevant to the job you are applying for. It's no good just saying you are skilled at customer service or great at problem solving, instead provide evidence, such as I've spent two years working front line with customers and have learnt how to provide excellent customer service by focusing on all elements of the experience."
Party Hard Travel took 11,000 clubbers on holiday in 2018 and have enjoyed triple digit growth for the third year running. As the recruitment lead, it is Jodie's job to bring in hundreds of applications from all around the UK, whittling this down to the final chosen 30 for summer 2019. Jodie advises that whilst questions on application forms can often seem irrelevant or silly, that each question will be there for a reason and that candidates should take time to answer each one carefully.
"The most important thing on an application form is personality. Nowadays it can be hard to pick between candidates in terms of experience or qualifications, so you have to make your application stand out. People hire people, and if you can make your personality shine through by the words you use then it can be enough to get you that interview. Personally, I'm looking for drive, enthusiasm and passion for the job."
One of the groups that can really struggle with the job application process are young people, which is often down to their lack of work experience. Yet Jodie says they can still make their applications resonate with potential employers: "Keep your education section simple with grades achieved. You can also use your personal statement to look at learnings from university that are relevant to the job, and add in extra activities outside of work and study."
The next step is perhaps the most crucial, the interview stage, where you meet your potential new employer face to face and have the chance to demonstrate just how well suited you are to the job. But this is a stage where candidates often fail.
"Do your homework, there's nothing worse than interviewing a candidate who hasn't taken the time to find out about the company. Look on their website, at their reviews, online articles, social media pages and you'll get a good idea of the company's activities, customers and plans for the future. Prepare some answers to questions like your strengths, but like on your application give your interviewer the evidence too. The one thing that interviewees often forget is the most simple- enthusiasm for the job and showing just how much you want the position."
"Candidates can be scared to answer questions about their weaknesses but try and answer as truthfully as you can. Everyone has things they can improve on, so in your answer talk about mistakes you might have made and what you learnt from them. Honesty is really important for employers, and they are also looking at your resilience and how you problem solve. A final tip is to have some questions ready for the interviewer like why they enjoy their job, or that you've read the company is a great place to work and can they tell you why in their opinion. This demonstrates interest but it's also a great way to understand more about the culture of the company and how you might fit into it."