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In a battered, slowly recovering economic environment, job seeking probably occurs more frequently than is desirable. While it is useful for qualified professionals to seek improvement of their career status in any economy, current realities have often put people out of work or drawn to a standstill opportunities for advancement. As these conditions slowly change (for the good) and prospects for hiring increase, a number of career trends have emerged that job seeking professionals should know. These include ways of differentiating yourself from other job candidates when applying for work and professions that are hiring or offer good prospects for future career development. Several are detailed below.
New Methods of Job Seeking
- The Declining Influence of Job Postings ~~ Although it is possible to find work from traditional job postings, their influence as a dependable method of job seeking has been challenged by the growing impact of information technology (IT) in virtually every area of life. Relying on job postings limits your chances for hire, because recruiters increasingly utilize IT methods of obtaining new employees.
- Social Networking ~~ Social networks simplify the process of identifying qualified potential hires. It has become relatively commonplace for hiring managers and recruiters to launch an Internet search to find the people best-suited to fill new openings. Nearly 60% of surveyed HR managers source candidates via such sites as LinkedIn, Facebook’s BeKnown app. or Twitter, a number certain to grow through the coming years. To take advantage of this trend, you should make certain your online profiles are engaging and up-to-date. Also, many online hiring sites offer links for applications; the information you provide may lead to a call-back or email response. Smartphones, podcasts, and blogs are all good sources of job seeking information as well; some offer the opportunity to apply for work online.
- Interviews/Resumes ~~ While the personal interview remains very much the method of meeting with prospective new employees, job seekers may find their IT interactions – social networking, job applications, blogs – can lead to work or be a source of contact with employers. Online responses can lead to personal interviews, and video presentations of self to HR managers have become more popular. While this may seem cutting-edge, in practice the effect of a video presentation can be staged and uncomfortable, potentially leading to discrimination against candidates if hiring personnel dislike what they see. Much depends on the result. A well-executed video presentation can expand the written resume’s capacity for expressing a job seekers professional achievements, expertise, skills, and personality.
- Personal Branding ~~ Personal branding in the workplace is all about the authentic and unique promise of value that a job seeker brings to an employer. To more fully leverage your personal brand, consider using;
- professional headshots for LinkedIn and similar profiles
- endorsements from other professionals in your field or network
- personalized, digitalized quick response (QR) codes directing recruiters to your network, website or similar content you want them to evaluate for their hiring purposes, and
- personal Qwikis, small-scale interactive, twitterized multimedia advertisements for oneself, aimed at HR personnel.
Prospects for Future Career Development
Fundamental changes in the U.S. economy mean even highly-qualified professionals should not expect to remain with a single employer their entire career. An online presence is essential for today’s professional, and this is true throughout their entire career, not just when they are job seeking. While job seekers should take advantage of the most popular social and professional networking sites, trends also point to collecting your individual, personal, and professional experiences and occupational credentials into a single, easily viewed presentation.