30 Oct 17:00 by Alejandro Rodriguez Garcia


Competition for jobs is falling.  There are now 1.9 people on average chasing each job, down from 2.3 in the same month last year, according to a recent survey. But that's no reason to get complacent. When you apply for a job you don't usually know how many others you are up against - for some jobs there may be no candidates at all, but others will attract hundreds.

If you are going to beat the rest, think tactically.

Aim for a sector where the number of vacancies is growing - currently that includes manufacturing, logistics and IT. Forces experience in, say, engineering, IT or logistics will obviously help, but these are good sectors to try if you have skills such as project management, which are in demand in almost all sectors.

If you are free to move to find work, head for the south of England. Nine of the top ten best cities in which to find a job were in the South. Cambridge was the best bet with three jobs per jobseeker, and in Guildford and Reading it is four to one. All of these cities are centres for IT and technology so if you have relevant skills these are places to consider. Aberdeen was the only non-southern city on the top ten, at number two. It's a centre of the oil industry so if you have engineering, technical or diving skills that would transfer into the oil sector this may be the place to try.

Places to perhaps avoid include Salford, where there are 36 jobseekers per vacancy, Sunderland (31) and Hull (25).

Ensure your applications are the sharpest in the pile: target jobs that your experience gives you a high chance of getting, tailor your CV to each vacancy, most relevant skills, translate any forces terms into relevant civvy street language, and mention the employability skills that employers love and that ex-forces staff have, such as punctuality, leadership, get-up-and-go and discipline (see my previous blog).

If you get offered an interview, practice your interview skills - see my previous blog posts on this too.

As ever preparation is the key to successful action, so get started now.

Until next time,

Dixie Dean.