Past Issues

April 11, 2011

Job Search Differences Between Today and Yesterday

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Job Search Differences ...

By Joshua Waldman, Career Enlightenment

1. Google Screening Process is Now Standard

Recruiters are now using Google and LinkedIn searches to find talent, in addition to posting ads on job boards and in talent databases. In fact, many companies are even mandating every new application go through a Google screening process. So that means the first page of your Google results matter more than they ever did before during a job search.

2. A Summary is Enough

Today, the resume is used mostly in the screening process while actual decisions are made after interviews. And because there are so many candidates competing for each job, hiring managers often scan resumes very briefly. In fact, the average time on a resume is 30 seconds.

3. Social Proof is a Must

Social proof, testimonials or recommendations seriously reduce the perceived risk of you as a candidate. The most costly mistake a hiring manager can make is to hire the wrong person. Some say that if a new-hire leaves within three months, it costs the organization one and half that person's annual salary. And with the economy as tight as it is, you can understand why hiring managers are so risk averse.

4. Resumes are not Read on Paper Anymore

Most organizations are not receiving paper resumes and when they get them via email or their application system, they don't print them. So expect your resume and cover letter to be read on a computer screen. This means you have to format your documents in a way that makes screen-scanning easy.

5. Relationships First, Resume's Second

Resumes are not used as much these days as introductory documents. In fact, "send me your resume" is often an after thought after an introduction is made. And if an introduction is made online, then your online profile offers much more information than a resume. So shift your priorities and make sure your online professional profiles are consistent with your resume.

6. Employers Only Care About What They Want

In years past, a resume or job application was focused on what the job seeker wanted. This is not true any more. Now an application, resume or cover letter must speak to what value the seeker can bring to the organization. How can you bring value to the company and how soon can the company realize that value.

7. Don't Mind the Gap

Large gaps in your resume are not as important as they used to be. Not only do employers today realize than millions of great and wonderful people got laid off, they also appreciate it when candidates showed initiative and tried to start their own thing.

8. Nouns are the New Currency

Screening software and LinkedIn talent searches have introduced an unexpected element to the way a resume should be written. Because these tools rely on nouns or keywords to deliver search results to recruiters, the resumes with the right combination of nouns often win. If you want to succeed in today's job search, make a commitment to learn how to research keywords and how to use them appropriately.

9. Everyone has a Personal Brand -- Yes, Everyone

10 years ago, not many people even knew what a personal brand was. These days, even if you don't know what it is, you still have one. And because recruiters and hiring managers are just looking for red flags, inconsistencies in your image or messaging will prevent you from passing screening. Even if you never touched a computer in your life, you have a personal brand as well as an online reputation. So take control of your image or someone else will.

10. Typing isn't a Skill Anymore

Being able to type used to be a skill people would highlight on their resume. Now, you have to know how to type just to have a resume. What really matters is how well you've prepared yourself for the application. You have access to more information about a company then generations past. As a result, expectations for preparedness are much higher. To really shine, focus on customizing your resume and cover letter for your industry.

Joshua Waldman is the founder of Career Enlightenment and specializes in helping job seekers leverage social media to find work quickly.

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