Twenty years ago, who could have thought that we would apply for jobs online, build a social network that impacts our employability, and conduct cross-country interviews via Skype? From social media to the evolution of how we connect with hiring managers and the growing use of applicant tracking systems, job seekers are finding new trends in the ways they conduct everything from their searches to the interviews.
Candidates need to be prepared to demonstrate their professionalism in this new tech environment because things will continue to evolve, giving both employers and the potential employee innovative ways to find and interact with one another. Here are five emerging trends that will impact job seekers.
A generation ago this may have seemed absurd, but candidates should get comfortable with the idea that they will show up for an interview and be led to a conference room filled with candidates or interviewers. Both will require the candidate to be at the height of their interaction skills.
Multiple people will be asking questions, hitting any range of points with their interview questions. A session with multiple candidates is going to require each member to get out in front. Wallflowers can expect to go home unfulfilled. Also, both scenarios will make it more difficult to connect on a personal level as you might in a one-on-one situation.
There are already apps for job seekers, but this trend is going to be one of the fastest growing on- or offline tools available. Mobile apps give everyone the opportunity to discreetly connect with potential employers, eliminating such risks as using your employer’s resources. Not only are there methods for uploading resumes, but career planners and job alerts. You can also use mobile apps to stay connected with your social network and browse job boards.
Your Social Network
With the wealth of creativity and information the Internet provides, it wouldn’t be surprising for resumes to become an aggregation of social media. A LinkedIn profile can already be a conduit for not merely work histories, education and personal information, with the capability to link to to projects, blogs, video, infographics, bios, contact options and more.
Done well, a hiring manager or recruiter could know everything they need to about about your career and your level of professionalism before picking up the phone for the interview. Of course, the opposite is also true: inappropriate photos and unprofessionalism on publicly accessible social networks can hurt your chances of getting a job.
Shifting Communication Channels
The fact is, we have a whole new generation of job seekers that simply have no patience for print-outs and snail mail. This is a group of young, influential candidates who know video and online presentation.
They think in terms of instant connection and immediate communication. And we’re not talking email. We’re referring to Facebook and Tweeting and other social networks. The job market will gradually move in this generation’s direction, giving the post and tweet more play in the job search.
New Email Protocols
The smart candidate already knows how important these are; with email, thank-you notes and follow-ups are becoming more common. Hiring managers are hearing from candidates within 24 hours of an interview. In your follow-ups and thank you notes, be sure to reference the most positive points of the interview and your goals now that you know more about the position.
From internships to CEOs, knowing how to navigate the ever-evolving system is going to give you the edge. Keeping track of these trends is going to be critical for the job seeker. They will provide the smart candidate with a greater handle of the submission and interview process as a whole.