With the dust still to settle on the UK’s momentous EU referendum, the media is already doom-mongering as to what Brexit will mean for employment in the country going forward.

With businesses putting the breaks on hiring, graduates entering the job market for the first time are likely to be particularly vulnerable. The same can be said for those thinking about returning to work after an absence, or overseas professionals moving to the UK.

There’s no reason to give up on that dream job just yet, however. Here are our top tips for job hunting, Brexit style.

1. Get out in front
With competition for roles likely to intensify, it’s important to give yourself as much of a head start on the chasing pack as possible. That includes making sure your application materials – CVs, cover letter templates, LinkedIn profiles etc. – are up-to-date and ready to go. You should also be registering with recruitment agencies, signing up for job alerts and making speculative enquiries to employers.

2. Keep an open mind
Some areas of employment will be better placed to survive in a post-Brexit world than others. The multinational banks are talking about relocating their HQs to other markets, while property, construction and architecture employers are likely to be highly exposed to any forthcoming downturn. It might be time for plan B.

One man’s loss is another’s gain, however, and it should be business as usual for the law and professional services firms needed to help businesses through an intricate web of jurisdictional challenges. Companies exporting to non-EU markets will also be boosted by a weak pound over the months ahead.

3. Skill up
Don’t have all your eggs in one basket. The broader your skill set, the more wiggle room you’ll allow yourself down the line. Now might be the time to invest in further training or to enroll on that Masters course you were thinking about. Think strategically about the competencies that are going to prove useful: the UK has a severe IT skills shortage, for instance; there may also be a demand for French and German speakers going forward, with English’s status as Europe’s go-to language now looking under threat.

4. Think before you jump
Employers will be viewing potential new hires with increasing scrutiny, so why shouldn’t you. Think carefully before accepting any new offers of employment – the last thing you want is to come onboard a sinking ship and be back in the applicant pool a few months later. Research online: if an employer has a large EU client base or has seen its share price drop sharply it may be best avoided. At the very least it’s worth having a tactful conversation about your long-term job security before you sign on the dotted line.

With so much uncertainty in the air the important thing is not to panic or rush into making knee-jerk decisions that could affect your long-term career trajectory. There may well be trouble ahead, but still plenty of opportunities for determined, resourceful candidates.

Reference: Abintegro News, The Guardian; Openeurope.org.uk; Career Addict; Randstad; Career Camel; Indeed.co.uk; Irish Jobs

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