How to stand out in today’s job market

The job market today is a different place than it was 10 years ago, with technology as a driving force in most offices and as the future itself of business. While it has streamlined many processes and enabled greater means of expression and creation, it has also somewhat levelled the playing field. Pair this with the fact that university graduates are at an all-time high, which ultimately brings up the age-old question: How does one stand out? What makes our qualifications better than someone else’s? The reduction in employment in many traditional jobs has created yet another challenge on the long road to success – as if finding your dream job wasn’t hard enough! The modern job market, while bigger then ever, also has the biggest pool of job seekers ever.According to Mark Huffman of ConsumerAffairs, “The average graduate needs 7.4 months to find a job.” Sheesh, who knew paying all that money for a degree would lead to this!

With countless new students graduating, the number of new graduates and millennials with identical CVs has created a highly competitive job market. For every good job, 100 people are vying for it with similar credentials. “A recent poll of 823 business leaders by Modus Research Inc. found that just 41 per cent believe universities in their own provinces are doing a good job of preparing graduates to address the needs of employers, while 31 per cent say they are doing a poor job.” Those numbers aren’t comforting to the modern student. The prevailing thought might be to take a graduate degree and spend more money to get a fancier degree, but there might be a simpler option.

For example, you are a new graduate, leaving school with a shiny new BA degree in Journalism. You can assume the other applicants have the same degree and a catalogue of writing examples to their name. However, having extra skills in a field like Photography, History, New Media, Visual Arts, etc., is an edge over other candidates that will open you up to more opportunities within the field of Journalism and Writing. Even if the experience is limited, by receiving knowledge and even mentorship in different areas, it will bolster your CV and make your application look that much brighter!

As the saying goes, knowledge is power! And in the rat race of employment, the more knowledge and experience you have, the better. So get a leg up on your fellow job seeker by broadening your mental horizons, by learning a new skill or applying for an internship. Whether it is reading, talking to an expert, or even watching videos, in the current job market, you have to stand out and picking up some new knowledge is that edge that puts your CV at the top the pile. It’s called hustling. #werk