Times Have Changed

Every four years, jobs make big changes. Sometimes jobs become obsolete through automation and positions are completely removed from company rosters. The job search is often a constant factor for people and it’s important to know what is going on in the market. A generation or so ago it was not uncommon for one to start at a lower level position within a company and work their way up the ranks into a senior management position, spending over 25 years at the same organization. However, today the job market is ever-changing and these dynamics make it not uncommon for people to hold several jobs at different firms over the course of their professional career. Over a 50-year work life, one can expect to change jobs every four years, with 3 or more distinct careers in their life.

The single most important goal companies have today in their onboarding process is to hire someone with the technical skills and abilities to solve the problems they expect to face in a specific area.

Job Search Strategies

Start with the Resume and Cover Letter

While many believe that the cover letter has become more or less obsolete, they are just as important as ever. A cover letter helps make your Resume more visible as more recruiters are searching online every day for potential candidates. The cover letter should use 3-4 key qualifications of the job you are aiming to land. The Resume should back up these qualities. Cover letters give the recruiter a look at your experience, education, strengths and skills related to the job and lets them know what sets you apart and what you can bring to the table.

Resume statistics

Building your Resume

Your Resume is one of the most important documents in your life. It is meant to establish a goal for your search, helping you get your foot in the door for the majority of interviews and effectively show your skills. The Resume is your personal branding document that will sell yourself to the company you wish to work for. Here are some tips for your Resume:

  1. Be realistic in your Resume. Choose a job that you can succeed in based on your skills. Be ready to convince an interviewer you can accomplish whatever problems they may encounter in the role you are applying to.
  2. Research job descriptions to identify what recruiters are looking for. Compile a list of job postings and find requirements related to them. Use these requirements in embellishing your Resume to stand out from the competition. Include specific skill sets and responsibilities that you believe would assist in getting the job done.
  3. Problem solving is extremely important to companies. List specific examples of your successes in identifying, preventing or solving a problem. Include this with a list of your greatest solo achievements and team achievements. Quantify wherever possible.
  4. Have some examples on the side of times where things didn’t go as planned, though preferably use examples that included a team. This will ensure you cover your bases when you get those ever so frustrating interview questions such as “Tell me about a time when something didn’t go as expected. How did you resolve this?”
  5. Include a list of transferable skills and professional values that help you excel in your position.

Networking

Networking has become highly important in today’s job search strategy. According to Forbes, here are some eye-opening statistics on how people find jobs:

Networking 45%
Internet Job Board 25%
Agency/Search firm 11%
Direct Approach 8%
Advertisement 2%
Other 10%

 

As you can see, networking is the number 1 way that people are finding jobs in today’s market. Therefore it is essential that you have a complete and powerful LinkedIn profile. It is recommended that you have a professional photo, connect with current and past colleagues, and participate in groups relating to your career field. Most of all, be sure that your summary stands out, includes keywords to optimize your profile and that all career information is included with accomplishment-based activities.

Other Tips and Suggestions To Assist in Your Job Search

In this day and age, recruiters often conduct video and phone interviews. It is important that you maintain eye contact and give a good impression. Companies value people in tune with technology. For additional points, you can create an interview presentation to demonstrate your skills further. Prepare for your interview by listing the job requirements and instances of success that demonstrate those requirements.