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How to Remain Competitive in The Job Market

Est. Read time: 10 - 15 mins

​During this COVID-19 pandemic, retrenchment rates are at their peak since the 2009 global financial crisis. To better understand this unfortunate phenomenon, let’s find out why companies are forced to retrench.

Why companies choose to retrench

The dreadful financial years resulted in the rise of the need for tighter budgets and cost-saving needs. Intense market competition and big industry trends and changes, for example, the shift from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce.

In this intense job market and the heightened competition amongst candidates for a limited number of job opportunities, how can one stand out in the sea of candidates? One can stand out in the crowd by possessing the skills necessary in the current job market. This can be achieved by constantly improving ourselves with the ever-changing dynamics of the market. There are so many skills out there, which skills should we focus on?

As an HR recruitment agency, we’ve listed 5 essential skills that can boost your chances of being hired in 2021.


A. Digital Marketing

In this technologically advanced era, companies are inevitably switching over to more digitalized and modern business models to keep up with the trends. Paired with working from home being the new normal, being digitally skilled is definitely a bonus when being considered during the hiring process.

Here are some digital marketing skills relevant to this current situation and are good to focus on first to upgrade and update yourself.

Social Media Skills

Many companies hopped over to the social media platforms to increase their brand exposure to their younger target audience and to stay relevant and on the minds of their consumers in these fast-changing social media trends. Through the correct usage of social media, it can become a conversation starter for many too, using catchy lingos and vibrant advertising, much like what Lazada has done.

Being social-media-savvy also means that you must have a better understanding of social media advertising, hashtags, boost posts, which platforms to work on, and more. This does not only apply to the media industry, but all the other industries are hopping on the trend too!

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Often paired with social media advertising, SEO and SEM is another vital aspect of digital marketing that candidates are preferred to be skilled in. SEO and SEM are some of the methods that the company’s pages and information can get ranked higher in search engines such as Google and Bing.com.

This will bring about a few results:

  • Increase click-through rate and traffic to a website,
  • Increase the exposure of the company in the eyes of the consumers,
  • Build better relationships with them.

Possessing the knowledge on how to use SEO and SEM will increase the probability of you getting hired as it will greatly benefit your company in the long run!

You can head over to HubSpot Academy to learn how to improve your social media skills and boost up your knowledge of SEO and SEM!

B. Coding and Programming

Digital transformation is more evident than ever with more people using the internet to work, play, and shop. Many companies are switching to focus more on the construction, management, and safety of their online platforms. The knowledge of coding and programming has become a well-sought-out skill set that recruiters and employers would look out for. That’s why possessing these valuable skillsets will definitely put you in the spotlight amongst the sea of candidates.


C. Video, Audio, and Media Design

Another skill that is often paired with digital marketing is video, audio, and media design skill. People’s attention span has been getting shorter gradually, that’s why it is important that the advertisements that are put online or via the traditional methods (television advertisements) should be interesting and be able to capture the attention of the audience.

For example, advertisements on Tik Tok, the mobile app that has captured the attention of many, are short video productions that spread brand awareness with witty content.

To possess video, audio, and media design skill, here is a list of some free platforms that you can play around with:

  • Canva – a free graphic design platform that is great for making presentations, Instagram posts, posters, infographics.
  • DaVinci Resolve – a free video editing software that is great for video productions with its easy-to-use interface
  • Audacity – a free audio editing software that is great for editing sound audios with its easy-to-use, multi-track interface.


D. Emotional Intelligence

Another skill that is essential in this arduous period is emotional intelligence, as everyone is experiencing this tough period together and no one person is alone. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and monitor your own emotions and others, and to adjust emotions to adapt to the environment accordingly. A high level of emotional intelligence, also known as strong people skills, would also allow you to make good and sound decisions that are not heavily based on emotions.

Though emotional intelligence cannot be learned and obtained in a short period of time, however, it is still manageable. According to MindTools, steps to developing higher emotional intelligence include, but not exhaustive, having self-awareness and awareness of the surrounding and situation and taking responsibility for your own actions, both positive and negative actions.


E. Cultural agility and understanding

In this modern Singapore, where we mingle and interact with people of different races and religions, possessing cultural agility and understanding is an invaluable asset to have. Especially during this sensitive period where racist and derogatory remarks were hurled at innocent people surfacing on the news, it is disheartening to see what has become of people when times get tough. Hence, it is of extreme importance that we value other people as much as we value ourselves.

How can we develop cultural agility and understanding of others? Much like emotional intelligence, self-awareness must be present for us to better understand our actions and the consequence. Education of other races’ culture and history would allow us to better understand the rationale behind some of the things they do that are puzzling to us. By providing a comfortable and understanding work culture will decrease the occurrence of workplace harassment.

Looking for a job? Here at BGC Group, we care about you and we want to help you find a job that is suitable for you. Head on over to our website to start seeking! Feel free to drop us a message below if you agree with this list!