There’s a good chance that your own job search methods are holding you back – Because what works has drastically changed in the past few years.
What’s caused all these changes?
- Job Shortages: The job search methods we were all taught carried a basic assumption – candidate shortages. Today the opposite assumption is true in almost all industries – job shortages. The random job search methods we were taught worked when there was low hanging fruit, but not today – because the low hanging fruit is gone.
- Mass competition for jobs: mass competition was occurring well before the recession – it started when Monster and CareerBuilder made it so easy to apply for jobs … that everyone applied, qualified or not. Since there’s little effort or cost to apply for jobs online, it’s possible to apply for hundreds of jobs each day, exploding your competition. Today, job postings attract an average 1,000 applicants per job – even in small companies that advertising openings on CraigsList regularly get 300-500 applicants.
- Technological change: Hiring companies/organizations can’t possibly staff to sift through a thousand applications, especially when a majority of the candidates aren’t qualified for the jobs they’ve applied for. HR staffs, recruiters, and admins for small companies now pre-screen resumes using applicant tracking systems (ATS), so they only read resumes that meet minimum hiring criteria. Even small companies use this type of process – it’s available for as little as $70/month and basic PC features allow keyword searches over a large group of individual files (like resumes, for instance).
- Legal changes: Companies/organizations have had to manage major changes in Federal hiring laws and enforcement. Even small companies are faced with random surprise Department of Labor audits that include compliance with EEOC fair hiring practices. Non-compliance carries harsh penalties including business closure and loss of significant business (if the company/organization gets any governmental funds because they bid on government contracts, apply for grants, are a government contractor/supplier, a subcontractor to a government contractor/supplier, or are a vendor to a government contractor/supplier). These audits impact organizations of all sizes.
- Ageism: Today, there is rampant discrimination against age 40+ employees, due to job shortages, cost containment efforts and false generalizations that senior candidates are less adept with fast-changing technology. If you give a first impression of being obsolete due to obsolete methods, you are likely further imbedding this generalizaion into HR reps’, recruiters’, and hiring managers’ minds – causing unnecessary delays in your job search.
Government compliance closes one of the biggest loopholes that job seekers used – sending your resume to a friend. Sending your resume to your friend or contact used to be the way around HR and a back-door method that guaranteed you an interview at many hiring organizations in the past. Today, this practice guarantees that your resume will land in the same Applicant Tracking System as everyone else who applied online – giving no advantage to trying this loophole.
What can you do to modernize your job search?
- Learn what obsolete job rules you can (and should) break: see http://www.recareered.com/blog/2010/04/20/breaking-the-job-search-rules-better-than-anyone-else/
- Stop blaming the economy – instead make changes in your job search: see http://www.recareered.com/blog/2010/03/02/job-seekers-its-not-just-the-economy-its-you/
- Ditch outdated job hunt practices by recognizing obsolete tactics in your current job search methods. Erin Kennedy wrote this helpful article about how to “Ignore These Outdated Job Hunting Beliefs”:
“Ignore These Outdated Job Hunting Beliefs
Despite a wealth of great job-hunting advice, many prospective job seekers are still clinging to outdated job-hunting and resume writing guidelines that hinder their search for a job. If you’ve been sending your same old resume from 10 years ago with a ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, then you’ve probably learned that these methods have become obsolete.
If any of the following job hunting problems match you, then you need to implement corrective measures as soon as possible if you want to achieve success in 2011:
- Not studying your competition
Candidates fail to check out their competition when they start their job search. They reason that their generalized resume worked in the past and that it will continue to work in the future, but that just is not the case any longer. You resume will be stacked against incredibly high skilled competition who probably have seen and done things that you present as standout attributes on your resume.
If you have a diverse set of skills, you’ll need to go the extra mile to get into your chosen career. You’ll need to establish connections and contacts with people in the industry to help fill in any career gaps you have and to boost your education and work experience. And you’ll need a compelling resume that clearly develops a connection to your prospective employer.
- Not caring about your online identity
Social media is the way of the world now, and like it or not, it’s not going anywhere and people pay a lot of attention to it. Who do you think an employer is going to choose, the guy with the drunken Facebook profile picture or the business professional LinkedIn page? 10 years ago no one thought about having themselves Googled, no one really even knew what Google was but now you have to have an online profile to get noticed. You have to make yourself an online brand and highlight yourself above the pack.
- Disregarding trends in resumes
If you can’t get past the old resume template with your list of qualifications, then you are going to find the job market in 2011 to be very harsh. Companies receive hundreds of resumes a day, so it becomes critical for potential employees to document the impact of their work and to back up their accomplishments through quantitative means. For a business to hire you they want to make sure that you are going to positively impact their business, and that means on the bottom line, are you going to make their business more profitable.
You have to have something on your resume that shows how you have positively impacted growth in one way or another. For executives or senior-level employees, personal branding has become the newest trend in the job hunt. This is a delicate process and you will need someone who understands developing a branded persona. You have to become the expert in your field.
Hopefully these tips will help you get past anything that was holding you back and put you on the road to new employment!”
Original article by Erin Kennedy published at http://www.thejobbored.com/ignore-these-outdated-job-hunting-beliefs_1727/ .
Examine your own job search methods – what are you doing that’s obsolete?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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