Job hunting transformed
Over the last decade the business of job hunting has been completely transformed.
For advertised roles, slow but definite strides have moved us away from the job ad in the paper, traditional application form, letter of application and standard CV for every job, to a much more complex set of options. For speculative approaches, gone are the days of blanket mailshots to lists from the Yellow Pages.
CVs are now more commonly submitted online; more frequently evaluated electronically. They must be crafted to be appropriate to the role that is the subject of the application, and not generic to any role in a vague range. The equipment used to evaluate applications is more sophisticated, expectations are higher, competition is stronger. So, your demonstrable effort, determination, self-belief and commitment are pre-requisite.
Beyond traditional jobseeking
Once networking was considered simply one option for finding the next job (one ignored by most job seekers); now networking has definite prominence. This has significantly contributed to the success of LinkedIn (75 million users and counting), which is now actively used to find candidates. Facebook is also actively used to find candidates and/or for candidates to find jobs. Both are used by recruiters to have a look at candidates beyond the CV.
Traditional job advertising continues, but anyone who has regularly checked the ad pages in the press will know that this media has dwindled significantly. Online job postings have taken over, and most job seekers will look online first or at worst concurrently with checking relevant papers and journals for suitable opportunities.
The traditional recruitment agency market has approximately halved in recent years. Companies have seen the opportunity to save fees by looking at online alternatives and generally only resort to other means if the online option does not generate a result.
Try before you buy contracts
The recent spate of redundancies has meant growth in the jobless market and raised the stakes in terms of competition for each and every vacancy. Standing your ground to get your true worth has never been more challenging. And sometimes it won’t be possible, so you may have to take a backward step in order to move forwards.
Resilience and self-awareness are critical to success; knowing your market and current trends is essential. Research is important - and literally at your fingertips. LinkedIn is just launching ‘the ultimate tool for business research’ so keep an eye out for this new development. There is no excuse for not being prepared.
Another key influence has been the impact of uncertainty that is emerging as a trend from the recession. ‘Try before you buy’ is becoming ever more popular. This means working on a short-term contract, as a temporary worker or volunteering to show the employer your worth and then being in the best position for an offer when a permanent or paid role becomes available.
Jobsearching for 2011
- Get your LinkedIn profile 100% complete, looking smart and top notch and keep it up to date
- Get your Facebook profile similarly clean and tidy
- Remember that your online profile is not an online CV: keep it short and snappy
- List your specialities and include key words to help you be found by the right people
- Check public profile settings to ensure casual visitors only see what you want them to see (and remember everything you put online may be indexed)
- Keep up! Functionality on networking websites changes almost daily and LinkedIn adds about 1m users every week
- Look at joining relevant alumni, functional or industry specific networking groups
- Be flexible about the nature of any work you are offered and be ready to consider even voluntary work as a route to a full-time paid job
- Strengthen your network – both online and face-to-face – put yourself out there and make good contacts
- Research, research, research: you must know your target market
- Don’t let those contacts drop once you find a job
- Build your skills to make yourself attractive to employers and demonstrate commitment
- Only apply for jobs where you understand the requirements for the role, how you fit those requirements, the industry it is in and the culture of the organisation you are applying to.