There will be many changes to pay attention to this year, so staying current with the latest trends will be essential. If you stay up-to-date with the following, you can compete with others who are uncomfortable with this new landscape of job searching. Also, it will be crucial to become comfortable with digital technology.
Remote Work – Remote work will continue to play a significant role. It will be essential to become comfortable with virtual communication tools. If you are not using these, learn how because these skills will give you an advantage over the competition.
Job search Platforms – These are continuously changing. You must rely on more than one strategy. Becoming familiar with industry-specific websites is important, meaning going beyond LinkedIn and Google search engines.
Soft Skills – There is something called a ‘job fit.’ Once you make it through several rounds of interviews, it comes down to your personality and ability to be flexible, adaptable, and use problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Note these are not ‘hard skills.’ Hiring managers can understand your ability to fit into the culture, be open to learning, and be willing to accept feedback. You can highlight these on your resume. Almost all job postings will list ‘soft skills’ at the end of their requirements.
Virtual Career Fairs – You may think about your college career fairs, but did you know there are career fairs for people at various stages of their careers? Many are virtual. However, some are in-person. To successfully navigate a career fair, create a compelling resume focusing on skills related to the industry you want to get into. Also, practice your ‘three-minute’ introduction. This is not something you can do on the fly.
Virtual Video Interviews – This is becoming the norm. Become familiar with your computer, lighting, sound, and background. Remember to look into the camera when talking to the hiring manager. It may be weird, but it makes a difference. Do you know how you are supposed to make ‘eye contact’ when interviewing in person? Well, looking into the camera allows you to do this. If you practice enough, you will become comfortable with it. Basic interview skills also apply to video interviews. Practice, practice, practice does make perfect, but you do not want to sound rehearsed. Be yourself. Record yourself and listen to the audio first without video to see if you are using filler phrases: like, you know, and um. We all do it, but I guarantee you will get better once you become aware.
Professional Networking Online – This will continue to be necessary. Join online industry groups and use LinkedIn to join groups related to your career. Often, these groups will post job opportunities. Make sure you create a great LinkedIn profile. Remember, LinkedIn is not a typical ‘social media’ site. In fact, it is a two-way street. Yes, you can use it to search for jobs. However, if you have a stellar profile, recruiters can find you.
Modern Resume Writing – You can no longer send the same resume to every job you want. Since most companies use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) software to evaluate incoming resumes (300-500 per day), you must include information from their job descriptions in your document. This means using keywords from their postings. And focus on your skills rather than listing your experience as a job description.
Conducting your job search should be creative and strategic. Keeping a calendar of your job search efforts is best so the process is manageable. The job market will always be competitive, so leverage your skills (even if they are from different industries) and stay persistent.
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