Job Search Strategies that Changed (while you weren’t looking!)

It’s 2017 and there are many positive career predictions to look forward to this year: the candidate experience will improve (finally!), more people will take advantage of the “gig” economy, performance reviews will be more collaborative, and creative perks (like school loan payback) are on the rise.

But if it’s been a while since you’ve engaged in a job search, you may have missed some of the important changes in the last few years.  Here’s your chance to catch up:

  • OUT: Functional resumes to cover up a gap or to make a career switch.  Why? Recruiters don’t prefer them and functional resumes practically scream “red flag!”
  • IN: Accomplishment-based resumes tailored to your brand where every line has impact – be ruthless! If your resume is an historical account of past job descriptions, strengthen it by adding concrete results, numbers and achievements that show how you can solve problems.
  • OUT: Handwritten Thank You notes after the interview. Why? Hiring Managers travel, internal office mail can take a while, and the hiring process might be over before it’s received.
  • IN: Email Thank You notes that are personalized by capturing an interesting point from the interview (e.g., “What a coincidence we both play the Oboe!”), and reiterating why you’re a match for the role.
  • OUT: Applying to mega-job boards as a primary method of finding employment. Why? After these websites gained popularity, Recruiters realized they couldn’t handle the application volume and implemented “Applicant Tracking Systems” (ATS) to weed out unqualified applicants. Unfortunately, these systems can be overly sensitive, which means many qualified applicants’ resumes never reach human eyes.
  • IN: Networking is timeless and has been the gold standard for finding employment for decades. Since most jobs (especially the awesome ones) are found through networking before they even make it to the monster online job boards, engaging your contacts should always be your go-to strategy in a job search.
  • OUT: Your Rolodex. Okay, you already knew that, but are you taking full advantage of your online brand?
  • IN: Linked In and social media! It’s not enough to have an online presence. Actively building your online brand attracts job opportunities, inspires promotions, leads to consulting gigs and makes you stand out in your field.  It’s worth the 10 minutes a day.

Happy hunting!

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