If you haven’t been on the job market for a number of years and are contemplating looking for a new job, it won’t take you long to notice that the job search process has changed dramatically.
Not only are hiring processes evolving due to changes in recruitment technology but employer’s behaviours are changing drastically too.
Since the recession of 2008/2009 and the subsequent rise in recent years in employment, employers have become increasingly more risk-averse. Employers are more selective, and their hiring decisions are based on more than just capability. The all too familiar 'shopping-list' of duties under a job title on your CV doesn’t cut it anymore, instead you need to ooze value.
Of course, some aspects of job hunting haven’t changed – the importance of networking and properly branding yourself, for instance, but it’s important to keep up with the latest job market trends to give yourself a competitive edge. So here are my top 5 tips if you are just dipping your toe into the job market after some time.
1. Employers need to feel reassured that you are the right choice– Your self-marketing collateral (and I mean your CV, Linked-In profile and your cover letter) plus your performance in interviews, should not only demonstrate your capabilities but also your relevant accomplishments and where you have made a difference. You need to provide clear examples of your successes with context.
- Where have you saved money, saved time, improved efficiencies?
- Increased business, retained customers, won customers?
You get the general idea? Employers are looking for you to solve their problems and you need to prove to them that you can, so look for your prospective employers pain points and demonstrate your professional value!
2. Highlight and demonstrate your in-demand soft skills – Soft skills are now often regarded as more important than hard skills. They are the interpersonal or ‘people’ skills that help you successfully interact in the workplace. They are also the skills that many robots and A.I. can't replicate.
3. Network before you need to – the familiar phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, is as important now as when it was first ever said. Most jobs nowadays are secured through word of mouth and networking. Bearing in mind my earlier comment that employers need much more reassurance, you can perhaps understand why hiring through recommendation can be a clear preference.
4. Don’t limit yourself – With jobs evolving, disappearing and being created, don’t limit your options. Try not to focus on finding your ‘dream job', instead open your mind to opportunities. The most important choice you need to make is to choose a job that will help you become more satisfied and a more improved version of you.
5. Practice resilience – Resilience is your ability to bounce back from setbacks quickly. There is no doubt that the job market is tough. Sadly, you won’t hear back from every application you make and good quality feedback following an unsuccessful interview is sadly rarely given. So, if you find yourself in a difficult situation, tell yourself no matter what, you are getting one step closer to finding the right job. Nothing can stop a person who has the determination to succeed, not even a challenging job market.