If you’re searching for a new job today, things have changed dramatically from 10 years ago. Heck, things have even changed in the last five years!
What do you need to know if you’re back on the job hunt today? Here are five things:
1. The average time spent looking at a resume is 30 seconds
Most employers start by pre-screening resumes with applicant tracking software in order to score and rank candidates based on their fit with the job description. Beyond that, a HR professional or hiring manager will only spend about 30 seconds (or less) looking at your resume — unless it’s part of the 72 percent of resumes that never get seen by human eyes — so it must be easy to read and concise, along with showing the value you’d bring to the company if hired.
2. Resumes are mostly read online
Most employers will not print your resume during the hiring process. Instead, they’ll read your qualifications via email or in their applicant tracking system. So, while your resume might look great on paper, you need to make sure it’s easily read on a computer screen by using short paragraphs, bold and italics to emphasize important information, and a good amount of white space.
3. It’s more about “who you know” than ever
While your resume is still one of the most important job search documents, creating and maintaining your professional network should also be at the top of your list when on the job hunt. Employers might be inundated with applications for an open job, but if you know someone who can refer you or provide a recommendation on your behalf, you have an even better chance of getting your resume seen by a human’s eyes.
Social media is a great way to connect to other professionals and learn about job opportunities. Consider using tools like Twitter or Tumblr during your search.
4. Your online brand can make or break your chance
Employers are using social media to screen job candidates. They’re looking for consistency across networks to determine if you’re the right fit for their opening — so, if your personal social media accounts are unprofessional, it’s likely they’ll take that into account when making a decision. Alternatively, if you have a strong online brand and good search results, it can work in your favor during the hiring process.
5. Recommendations can help you land a new job
An employer searching for you online is looking for red flags. What’s the risk of hiring you over the other candidate? Will you stay at the job if they offer it to you?
If you have recommendations on your LinkedIn profile, it can put a hiring manager’s mind at ease and give them insight into you as an employee they might not get from your resume or cover letter alone. Plus, they’re words from people you’ve worked with before, which holds even more weight.
What else do job seekers need to know about today’s job search? If you’re back on the job search after 10 (or more) years, what did you notice was different?