The job search process, along with everything else it seems, has undergone an enormous amount of change in the last ten years. The growing reliance on the Internet, the growth and expansion of mobile technology, and increased communication channels have changed the workforce in significant ways. This can be disconcerting for someone who is entering the job search realm after several years of being out of it. Being aware of the changes that have significantly impacted the job search is half the battle in maintaining relevancy in the job market.
- Fewer jobs mean more competition. Is it no secret that the current economic recession has really cut down on the number of available jobs. Before the collapse of the housing market, there were approximately 1.8 people per one job opening; now, there are 4.2 people per one job opening. This means that the “burden of proof” lies with the candidate; that is, it is now up to you to prove to the hiring manager why you are the best candidate for the position and how you can contribute to the company.
- The passive job search is a thing of the past. Fifteen, twenty years ago, it was not uncommon for professionals between jobs (and even while employed) to be recruited and wooed by companies and hiring managers. This is not the case today. Being proactive is essential when trying to find a new job, and you must take the necessary steps to get your resume in front of hiring managers. Job posting sites like Monster and CareerBuilder have simplified this process by giving users the option to upload their resume to the site so it can be submitted to a company in response to their job posting with a single click of the mouse.
- Social Media is no longer “just an option.” With the recent trend of downsizing, human resources departments are usually the first department cut, leaving less people to do the same amount of work. Social media provides an easy and efficient way for hiring managers and HR personnel to scan through and evaluate candidates and some of their qualities. It is not as simple as creating a Facebook page, however. Make sure your social media presence mirrors your professionalism so that if hiring managers find your page, they won’t be unimpressed. LinkedIn is perhaps the best social media/job search/professional networking tool available. It allows you to list all of your current and past jobs, detail your experiences and special projects, and highlight the most impressive parts of your resume. Some job seekers have gone as far as creating a personal website to showcase and publish their work e.g. graphic designers create websites to showcase their talents, public speakers establish video channels to provide potential employers with examples of their work.
- Networking is more important now than ever. You’ve probably heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know” – this has never been more true. With the decreasing number of available positions and the increasing number of people looking to fill those positions, knowing someone in the industry or in the company will ensure that your resume gets in front of the right people. Join professional groups, participate in online discussions and forums, and attend social gatherings to meet new professionals and get your name out there. LinkedIn has hundreds of professional groups that make getting connected in the industry easier than ever.
The changing job market is no reason to lose your relevance. Most of the changes, especially the ones concerning the growth of the Internet and social media, have made it easier than ever for job seekers to find and apply to open positions. Making sure you are aware of the ways in which the job search process has changed will enable you to make the necessary changes to stay fresh in the job market.
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Written by Katie Fidler
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