By Risë Kasmirski, Career Strategist, Meaningful Connections
If you are a job seeker pursuing your next opportunity you know things have changed dramatically in what you must now do to find and land your next job. Employers also face challenges with a dwindling pool of qualified candidates, a need to attract and retain good workers, and technology advances that require more sophisticated worker skills.
Seven major trends have evolved in the past few years that dramatically impact how individuals seek out jobs, and how employers find great candidates. Understanding these trends can greatly enhance your job search savvy and potentially shorten your search.
1 – BALANCED EMPLOYEE & ORGANIZATION NEEDS
Younger generations in the workplace have a strong desire for development and growth opportunities and for social learning. Employers desire workers who are ready to jump right in to the next assignment or project, allowing them to create a lean, skilled pool of workers.
The Opportunity: Know your skills, strengths and the learning and growth opportunities you desire. Then you can pursue employers with the right development opportunities. You will gain needed skills for future career growth, and your employer will benefit from an engaged worker with current skills.
2 – GLOBALIZATION AND SHIFTING WORKFORCE DEMOGRAPHICS
With five generations in the workplace by 2020, global work teams, and a projection of up to 50% contingency workers (contractors, part-timers) by 2020, you are going to encounter great diversity in attitudes, ideas, and worker styles.
The opportunity: Be ready to describe your own style and the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes you can contribute to the organization. Prepare to discuss the ways in which you are flexible and adaptable.
3 – INNOVATION – CREATE AND LEARN AS YOU GO
With virtually anything we want to learn available 24 / 7 through technology, we all need to be ready to learn and apply our learnings as needs arise. It is the resourceful worker that keeps current who is the most valuable to the organization.
The opportunity: Close the gap between the skills and knowledge you have today, and what is currently needed in your profession. Do you need to adapt to some new technology, understand industry trends, learn a new process or procedure? Be ready to share how you keep yourself current with your new employer.
4 – PERSONAL BRANDING – REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Everyone has a personal brand. You might think of it as how others experience knowing you, the impact you have on others, and your desired impact. Personal Brand Strategist Kathy Crandall defines it as “What Happens Because of You”™. The massive attention to personal branding is aligned with the rapidly changing workplace where workers move from company to company and often shift careers several times throughout their lives.
The Opportunity: Understand your personal brand and communicate your brand consistently so that employers understand who you are in addition to the skills and knowledge you have.
5 – SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION
We live in a digital world that emerged so rapidly we all need to keep current on how technology affects job search. These days a computer will read your resume via electronic resume scanning long before a human will ever lay eyes on it. The messages you transmit via social media (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc) all tell a story about you.
The Opportunity: Update your resume for electronic scanning including focus, keywords, branding). Google yourself and find out what others see when they search for you. Make sure the messages you are giving leave the impression you want your potential employer to see.
6 – LINKEDIN – NUMBER ONE RECRUITING TOOL
There are 300+ million users on LinkedIn worldwide, and more than 96% of recruiters inside and outside of organizations use LinkedIn to find candidates. It is possible that LinkedIn may replace the need for resumes in the future.
The Opportunity: Develop a robust LinkedIn profile that brings your personal brand to life, highlights your skills and accomplishments, and helps others find you for job opportunities and meaningful connections. Understand the powerful job search tool that LinkedIn has proven to be and develop a LinkedIn job search strategy.
CULTURAL MEGATRENDS ARE CHANGING OUR WORLD
As society becomes more socially and environmentally conscious, workers are more attracted to organizations that promote these ideals. The work practices and ethics of organizations have become increasingly transparent due to instant broadcast capability via the internet. Attitudes are shifting to more emphasis on personal values rather than what the workplace demands.
The Opportunity: Get in touch with what you value so that you can approach each opportunity through the lens of what is important to you and what type of contribution you would like to make.
Individuals who understand and embrace these workplace trends are more likely to feel focused and clear on what they are seeking, with consistent messages aligned throughout their resume, LinkedIn profile, and other social media avenues.