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It’s that time of year when experts and surveys report trends for the New Year. Drawing key evidence from William Arruda’s Personal Branding Trends for 2015 and LinkedIn’s US Recruiting Trends: 3 Must-Know Talent Acquisition Trends for 2015, here are eight critical job search trends you will want to leverage to maximize your career this year.

1. Social Networking Continues To Dominate

Social media skills continue to grow in importance throughout the labor market, not to mention in recruiting itself. LinkedIn reports that recruiters’ use of social networking increased a phenomenal 57% over the last four years, which means passive and active job seekers simply cannot afford to ignore this trend. When you combine that with the fact that 46% of US companies source talent via social networks, it becomes imperative that job seekers boost their social networking skills and the amount of time they spend on networks such as LinkedIn. It’s interesting to note that only 14% of US companies utilize staffing firms to find candidates, while only 38% of global companies source candidates through social networking and 32% do so through staffing organizations.

2. Job Search Outsourcing Emerges

With personal outsourcing on the rise a la Tim Ferris’ The 4-Hour Work Week, more and more job seekers are employing private services domestically and internationally to manage portions of their job search for them. While job seekers cannot outsource interviewing and salary negotiations, they can outsource some networking activities, as well as social media marketing, company research, direct mail campaigns, and relationship management

3. Video Recruitment On The Rise

Video has been increasingly in popularity for years now, and is fast approaching the point where job seekers need to seriously brainstorm ways to utilize it in their searches. Seventy-five percent of recruiters are already using video for recruitment purposes. If at all possible, find or create a short video (less than two minutes in length is ideal) to attach to your LinkedIn profile, for example. Use your video to showcase your career brand, experience, and history of achievements. Alternatively, focus on one or more of your key accomplishments to date and share it in CAR (Challenge-Action-Results) form.

4. Mobile Computing Drives Innovations

As mobile device traffic grew 81% in 2013, it continues to drive the preference and need for short, lean text in job search-related communications such as emails, cover letters, resumes, bios, and LinkedIn messages. Cover letters, for example, should be shorter than 250 words and resumes are trending toward shorter summaries, paragraphs, and achievement bullets with less text density than was acceptable in the past. All of these same documents should be designed in mobile-ready formats. This means that any included photos, images, or graphs/charts should be suitable for mobile consumption.

5. Thought Leadership Via Content Development

The launching of LinkedIn’s blogging platform offers job seekers an exceptional branding and thought leadership opportunity which eliminates the need for a separate personal blog. You can and should seriously consider publishing your original content or posting repurposed content via this platform to help drive more traffic to your LinkedIn profile. Keep in mind that LinkedIn profile’s have long claimed very high – typically top 10 – Google rankings, so you can expect your LinkedIn blogging content to help you attract the attention of more recruiters, companies, and hiring executives.

6. External Talent Opportunities Increasing

One of the biggest shifts underway in the US economy is the movement toward outsourced employment. A survey by AICPA and CIMA revealed that 33% of respondents say at least half of their organization’s work force over the next five years be external talent in the form of consultants, contractors, freelancers, and outsource providers. The smart job seeker will take heed and begin preparing now. Collect experience marketable via consulting, contracting, or freelancing and start cultivating resume-enriching opportunities.

7. Companies Of Different Sizes Source Talent Differently

It’s long been smart to customize your job search strategy based on your target companies, but now it’s more important than ever. LinkedIn’s recruiting research demonstrates that there are key differences between how small versus large companies source candidates. Smaller organizations focus on the passive recruitment of talent (32%) and only 13% prioritize diversity recruiting. Large companies, on the other hand place more emphasis on diversity (24%) rather than passive recruiting (20%). By taking these factors into consideration as you plan your job search strategy you can potentially attract more opportunities and shorten your search altogether.

8. Passive Recruitment Vital

Seventy-two percent of US companies recruit passive talent, while only 61% of global firms do so. According to LinkedIn’s research, 75% of professionals are passively seeking new careers. These facts underscore the importance of being ready to jump on top of career opportunities at a moment’s notice. As most certified resume writers will tell you, too many job seekers don’t optimize their resume’s content and career branding until they launch their search or are several months into one. By the time you need a resume it’s too late to create an exceptional one – start well in advance to identify your career brand and quantify your career achievements. Leverage as many of these trends as you can in your passive or active 2015 job search to gain every advantage you can. With the US economy heating up and more job seekers entering the market every day, you will want to employ every advantage you can to achieve the shortest possible search. And if you really want to maximize your career success in 2015, check out these X LinkedIn opportunities you could be missing out on.

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About the author

A 15-time, award-winning resume writer, Cheryl Lynch Simpson serves mid-career to senior executives as a credentialed resume writer (ACRW), LinkedIn strategist (COPNS), and Get Clear, Get Found, Get Hired (G3) coach. Like her advice? Check out her website, ExecutiveResumeRescue.com for a complimentary copy of her popular Polish Your Profile LinkedIn presentation, or follow her on Twitter!   Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

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