The Future of Job Search Strategies: Findings of Career Jam 2017
Good news! The Findings of 2017 Career Jam: Where Experts Forecast the New & the Next, has been released by the Career Thought Leaders Consortium! This report summarizes the findings of brainstorming sessions about the future of job search strategies, which were held on December 1, 2017 in the United States, Canada, Spain, France, Austria, and the United Kingdom. Want to listen to a webinar about it? Go to this video about the future of job search strategies.
Career Jam participants discussed topics with significant ramifications for job seekers: “best practices, innovations, trends, new programs, new processes, and other observations that are currently impacting, and are projected to impact, global employment, job search, and career management.”
The sections that most interest me in the report are “Career Marketing Messages & Documents” and “Social Media Profiles…” which include resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, as well as other career marketing communications. I also wanted to highlight a couple of items for the future of job search strategy. Here are some of the findings and advice to keep in mind as you conduct your job search now or in the future:
Career Marketing Messages & Documents: Current Trends
- Resumes are not dead! While the use of LinkedIn profiles in the hiring process is on the rise in both the U.S. and Europe, most hiring managers still require a resume at some point in the hiring process, and your resume WILL make an impression.
- Use graphics. The use of graphic resumes is becoming more and more common – but make sure your graphics serve a specific purpose and communicate your value.
- Don’t get too creative. Infographic resumes are NOT hot. Supplemental materials in infographic form are welcome, however.
- ATS systems are becoming more advanced. Writers must satisfy both machines and humans with proper format and keywords. Make sure you’re on top of the latest capabilities and capacities of ATS systems. You might be surprised what they can and can’t understand.
- Job hopper? You’ll have a stigma to overcome if you’re a participant in the gig economy.
- The great cover letter debate: They are still important! When they are read, they can make the difference between candidates. Keep ‘em short and focused on a targeted, unique value proposition.
- Be careful about posting your resume to online job boards. Don’t put anything confidential on there! The public can gain access.
- Focus your career documents on what you can do for the employer. As I like to say, your resume is not about your past. It’s about your future.
- Track your success stories. Don’t wait until resume writing time to gather your successes. Keep a running list at all times!
Career Marketing Messages & Documents: What to Expect
- The use of multimedia will continue to increase. New tools will emerge. But the underlying message will remain, communicating your value.
- Cover letters will rebound. Lengthier cover letters might start to replace the resume. These letters would be highly researched and targeted to the company, for both contract workers and those applying to full-time positions.
Social Media Profiles, Video Bios, Web Portfolios and Other Multimedia Tools: Current Trends
Many of these recommendations can be found in my book, How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile. It’s good to see people are listening and also confirming what works!
- LinkedIn profiles are becoming more multi-media with the addition of video. Use LinkedIn’s media features to attract more and longer profile views. Slideshows, infographics, and videos are all game.
- Your social media profile content must be aligned with your resume. This doesn’t mean they must be exactly alike. But as more recruiters are sourcing and screening candidates’ social media profiles during the hiring process, make sure you provide good resume-like content on LinkedIn.
- There is a trend toward shorter LinkedIn sections. You don’t necessarily have to use all the characters available. But if you have enough good stuff to say, why not?
- LinkedIn profiles are less job-search focused. Professionals are using LinkedIn for general branding purposes, not just for job search.
- Use storytelling concepts in your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn profiles are not a dry narrative of your resume. Instead, consider who your audience is and who YOU are, and brand yourself with a story that stands out.
- Don’t appear unemployed or desperate on LinkedIn! ‘Nuf said.
- Professionals are getting savvier in their online search optimization. Make sure you are savvy with your keywords and keyword placement too!
- Personal websites have not become integrated into the hiring process for most recruiters, but they are useful for long-term branding.
Social Media Profiles, Video Bios, Web Portfolios and Other Multimedia Tools: What’s Next
- With more video interviewing, candidate-driven video resumes are not welcome. Companies will specify any video content they want and when.
- People are concerned about sharing of profiles with Microsoft integration. I’m not as concerned. I don’t think that many people will even use this fancy feature (Microsoft Resume Assistant), and no one can steal your content if you write it as your unique self with accomplishments no one else can claim.
The Future of Job Search Strategy
- Job search is now quality over quantity. In the future of job search, focus is on relationship building with recruiters and companies. Cultivate your chances of getting a job that’s a great fit instead of applying to hundreds where your chances are slim.
- Networking is king, especially with the burgeoning of employee referral programs.
- More individuals (millennials) are negotiating salary and benefits during the interview process.
- Indeed.com is the preferred job board to use, if you’re using job boards.
- What? Snail mail? YES – mailing hard copies will get you attention from hiring managers. Do it!
- More and more individuals are in constant job search mode. This means every professional should have a resume and LinkedIn profile that make them shine and that they are proud of!
- References are more important than ever. So cultivate your relationships with potential references always.
- States and organizations are prohibiting hiring managers from asking about previous salary. Get coaching if you’re concerned you might be asked this question – and understand the company’s compensation structure and philosophy before entering into salary negotiations. Also see my articles Salary Negotiation for Women Part 1 and Part 2.
It’s important to stay on top of the latest in job search documents and strategies. The Executive Expert and The Essay Expert are here to keep you informed, and to create the best possible career documents for your success.
Read more about the New and the Next in Networking, Traditional & Online Job Search Strategies; How Employees are Screened, Interviewed, and Hired; The Changing Face of Jobs, The Diverse, Multigenerational Workforce & Globalization; and other important career resources and topics at Findings of 2017 Career Jam: Where Experts Forecast the New & the Next. Or listen to the webinar here.