Changes in today’s modern job market reflect the evolution of society.
Everyone is online when shopping or researching for just about anything – to include the selection of new employees. While the proliferation of Internet use in people’s offices and handheld devices has made an impact on how employers make their selections, what remains the same are professionalism and a simple, well-written representation of what you can contribute to the company.
But, first thing’s first – what’s changed from the sage advice for staying employable in the modern job market?
Being competitive in the job market today takes an understanding of your environment.
When you consider the numbers, the reason you need a strategy for job hunting in this day and age becomes clear. There are approximately 3.5 billion people using the Internet across the world. More nearly two thirds of those people access the Internet on a cell phone or other mobile device and they all have access to the same job listings as you. With so much information online, all those people have access to learning new skills and, if they possess any number of other qualifications your read about in this article, then they already have a leg up on the competition.
If you’re not interested in the technology sector, then you’ll really need to make sure you stand out among your fellow candidates. According to Forbes, one of the most promising career paths in this day and age is computer and technology skills as every business requires someone with that particular skill set no matter what the business sells.
However, whether or not you want to work in the field of computers and technology, on the computer is where you are likely get started when looking for new work. The factors you’ll need to consider when you begin your job search are education, online presence, networking, applying, and resume writing.
The modern job market requires more schooling now than in the past 40 years
Research suggests employers today are seeking professionals with exponentially more education or related experience since 1980. Among the most wide-reaching companies, employers look for candidates who have attended one of the top 200 colleges in the nation (or a top 250 college or university globally). While this means an Ivy League college or university is not your only ticket to employment, 4 year degrees up to masters are aggressively sought. 60% of Microsoft employees fit this description as well as 80% of Google and 95% of Facebook employees.
The argument for college also relates to your networking possibilities (more on that topic later in this article), but, if you’re past the point of going back to school, you can allow your related experience to speak for you on your resume. If you have past experience which may outshine your schooling, then your resume and online platforms should reflect the highlights.
Employers like to see people who went the extra mile to better themselves. Any additional training, seminars, workshops, and courses you have taken which adds value to what you bring to a company makes you a competitive candidate in the modern job market.
Certain skills stand out in both your online content as well as your resume. Demonstrate with clear, brief examples your leadership, problem solving, communication, writing, and teamwork skills to stand out as a competitive candidate.
Being competitive in the job market means monitoring and updating your online presence.
Your handshake with a potential employer takes place long before you actually meet anyone in person in the modern job market. You may think your personal social media accounts will not speak for you during the hunt for a job, but, this is not always the case.
Dr. Joseph Cilona is a clinical psychologist, author, and business coach based out of Manhattan. His advice to those on the hunt for work is to disengage from your personal social media account. He suggests using pseudonyms or abbreviations for any social media activity on a personal level. The goal here is to fly under the radar of employers who would use your full name from your resume to scan your personal social media information to learn more about you. While you may feel you have nothing to hide, it’s impossible to know what a potential employer’s biases are and what might cause the hiring manager to misconstrue your content in a negative light. What you might see as benign or innocent might look to an employer as something detrimental to your chances of getting an interview.
To break into the modern job market, clean up your LinkedIn profile and establish your personal brand.
Approximately 77% of job recruiters are searching for your online activity during your job search efforts long before you even know they exist. To remain a competitive candidate in the modern job market, you will want to consider your personal branding in order to define yourself upfront before a stranger sizes you up. Approximately 65% of people researching someone online chose not to do business with that person based on Internet profiling.
When considering your personal branding, you’ll want to decide on your keywords which represent you as a professional. Starting a blog or contributing to an existing blog alongside your various professional platforms is a creative way to lead Google to the image you want to project to prospective employers. This helps guide your efforts when cleaning up your professional profiles online and raises your ranking on Google or various other business related search engines when employers are seeking qualified candidates.
Focusing on the optimization of your LinkedIn profile is vital in the modern job market. More and more professionals are turning to LinkedIn to establish their professional brand and to demonstrate their work history to employers searching for their qualifications online. Considering over 80% of hiring managers and 98% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, opportunities may be more plentiful when you make yourself stand out on this particular platform. You’ll want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is clean and appealing to the eye while showcasing all your qualifications which cannot fit on your 1 – 2 page resume.
Being successful in the modern job market is still linked to who you know: Network!
Networking on and offline is a strong element demonstrating your competitive value in the modern job market. Keeping in touch with friends and professors from college is one simple way to keep your options open as they may have contacts in your industry of interest.
In addition to performing research on LinkedIn and engaging in conversations with your companies of interest, you’ll stand out even more if you get out from behind the screen and go meet people face-to-face. Author and business networking expert, Patti DeNucci, recommends having lunch, coffee, or going to happy hour with friends and colleagues, asking them to bring someone outside of your immediate circle. She further recommends attending a couple of professional and networking events annually to get your face and name in front of the right people. It may take more than one meeting for someone to remember you are ideal for a position which was, perhaps, not available at the time you first met, but, is about to become open.
When you do make the time to meet up with your fellow professionals, remember, add value to the conversation. This will require you listen more than you speak. People want to see you’re engaged and interested in what they have to say more than they expect you to dominate the conversation with overzealous, one-sided chatter.
Even in the digital age of the modern job market, companies still like to see proactive job seekers
Take some time to figure out who the decision makers are in the companies where you’d like to work. Send those individuals personal letters and a hard copy of your resume (more on resume writing later in this article). Try to make an appointment to meet with the person to whom you sent your information
After one week passes, put on your business attire and prepare to go out and meet these individuals. Make sure you look like someone who genuinely wants to be considered for the job. Visit the companies you contacted and ask to speak with the decision-makers you identified. This level of determination demonstrates you are a competitive option for the job and puts a face and personality to a black and white resume.
To be competitive in the job market, make sure you follow application instructions.
If you initiate or are asked to fill out an online application, the absolute best thing you can do is follow the directions. This sounds like simplistic advice; however, making a mistake this early in the process is a red flag to employers. If you didn’t take the time to do what was asked of you during the application process, you might be rejected no matter your qualifications (which likely won’t be read by either a human or a machine and, instead, deleted altogether).
In order to be successful in the modern job market means writing a concise resume which addresses the concerns of the company.
With all this discussion about your online presence, it may seem like resumes are a relic of the past; however, your resume is likely your best bet for getting an interview with an unknown entity. An overly showy or design-heavy resume distracts from what employers truly want to know about you while a too plain resume makes it seem like you’re not very invested in demonstrating your worth.
What is it employers want to learn from your resume when you are competing in the modern job market?
They want to know what you bring to the table – how does your expertise improve the flow of business and how will they miss out on a golden opportunity if they do not hire you? If you do your homework and research the company well enough to see where you can fulfill a need and add value to the organization, that information must be reflected in your resume and during the interview.
With this in mind, you will very likely need to write a completely separate resume for each company in which you are interested in order to tailor your approach to selling them on the best applicant to the job (You).
If you have questions about staying ahead of the game in the modern job market, our team can help you really stand out in the crowd.
While professionalism is the bottom line in the modern job market, the way you prove it has changed over time. If you’re overwhelmed by the idea of “cleaning up your social media” or have no idea where to begin with tailoring your resume to individual companies, the consultants at MyExpertResume.com have the experience and know-how to assess the market for which you want to work and how to gear your online efforts in alignment with your professional goals.
Contact us through our website to review our services for resume writing and LinkedIn profile optimization at myexpertresume.com.