Whether you're returning to the job market after a few years off, or you're applying for your first job out of college, you need to study up on today's job landscape. Here are a few things you can expect to face on the road ahead. After all, the modern job search is changing by the minute.
1. It's harder now.
There's no easy way to say this, so we'll skip the sugarcoating. The modern job search is not for the faint of heart. In our grandparent's day, candidates were counseled to show up on time for their interviews and deliver a firm handshake, and if they could follow these two simple rules, they'd land a job in no time.
For us, it's not that easy. If you need to land a position as soon as possible, expect to put at least a few hours into your search every day. Expect tough competition, and expect to be searching for at least six months before you receive an offer you can eagerly accept.
2. Suits are optional.
If you're called in for an interview, you can get away with a neat, pressed, well-fitting suit in black, blue, camel, or grey. But you'll score more points if your outfit shows a little thought and an understanding of this specific company culture. A pressed shirt with a tie or a skirt-blouse-cardigan combo are legitimate options now.
3. You're missing opportunities if you aren't using your online resources.
This includes social media. Don't sit in front of your screen all day (this can hurt your chances), but do make sure you have an updated profile on LinkedIn, and do take advantage of internet search resources like global job boards and online resume creation tools.
4. Social skills matter far more than they used to.
A generation ago, technical and clinical credentials were considered "hard skills," which suggested they were more important and higher on the priority list for employers. "Soft skills"—like the ability to collaborate, adapt, and get along with others—were considered less important.
The opposite is now true. Most employers now recognize that technical skills can be taught, but people skills can't. Candidates who can adapt to the culture and work well with others tend to thrive in any job. Those who don't tend to represent expensive hiring mistakes.
5. Weird things happen now.
A few decades ago, the idea of being asked to draw a map during a job interview or meet with the interviewer in a coffee shop instead of an office would both have seemed ridiculous. It would have seemed equally absurd to pass your resume to a recruiter at a networking event by touching cellphones and exchanging the file with near-field-communication technology. Candidates would have been surprised to attend three rounds of interviews with an employer and then receive only silence instead of a clear yes or no. But in our current age, any and all of these may happen while you search for work.
Be Ready For Whatever Lies Ahead
Despite the list above, there's one thing that hasn't changed and probably never will: to land a job, you'll need a strong resume. Visit MyPerfectResume for templates and formatting tips, and then get ready to face the road ahead with an open mind and sense of adventure.