Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a heads up about emerging job search and resume best practices? Results from recent focus groups conducted by Career Thought Leaders throughout the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Russia have been cataloged and offer a rich array of tips and suggestions for executive and non-executive job seekers alike.
Here are the top 10 job search trends of 2014:
The Multinational Resume Rules:
- With global unemployment on the rise and predicted to reach more than 200 million within just a few years, more and more candidates are seeking work in other countries or in multinational firms. The resume format that best presents a candidate’s experience in these circumstances is a multinational structure.
- A multinational resume is a two-page document with strong positioning, branding, achievements, and key word infusion. Visual branding is becoming a vital way to set a candidate’s experience apart.
Right Resume Structure Overcomes Poor Job Titles/Work History:
- Millions of job seekers have had to resort to part-time roles, contract work, and consulting to sustain their careers since the 2008 economic meltdown. Millions more have experienced corporate downsizings, restructurings, and mergers or acquisitions that have negatively impacted their job titles. The result is recent work experience that can be difficult to showcase cohesively on a resume or LinkedIn profile.
- The right resume and LinkedIn profile structure can help overcome these kinds of problems. There are many innovative ways to structure work history on resumes or in social media profiles to ensure candidates can continue to put their best foot forward when external circumstances interrupt their career progression.
LinkedIn Profile as a Career Portfolio:
- As recruiter and employer reliance on LinkedIn for candidate sourcing continues to rise, it is imperative that professionals recognize profiles are read and used as part of the hiring process. It is detrimental to a career search to have identical resumes and LinkedIn profiles.
- Rather, job seekers need to engage readers by infusing their profiles with personality while showcasing their unique career story. In addition, recent changes to LinkedIn enable job seekers to link to or embed a wide range of multimedia content such as documents, spreadsheets, videos, audios, images, and presentations that in essence create a career portfolio and long-term record of their career achievements.
LinkedIn as a Transition Tool to New Industries:
- Many job seekers do not have the network they need to land their next great gig. The good news is that this is easily remedied through LinkedIn – any job seeker can create a network in any field, industry, or geographic area within weeks to months with the right strategy and execution, whether or not s/he already has experience in that field or industry or not.
- LinkedIn eliminates the excuse that job seekers can’t network because they don’t have one. And in an age with 96% of recruiters using LinkedIn to source candidates, it is a major mistake not to create a strong network in one or more industries. Used wisely, this social networking platform can help job seekers to conduct multi-industry career searches.
Career Communications Innovation Sets You Apart:
- More candidates than ever before are recognizing the value of career communications innovation by creating and leveraging different tools to advocate their personal brands. While resumes and LinkedIn profiles are a necessity for many candidates, a wide variety of tools are available for those willing to stand out from the crowd.
- Options include tools such as 1-page networking resumes, leadership bios, brand bios in different lengths, e-notes rather than traditional cover letters, and email signature blocks hyperlinked to samples, online portfolios, and multimedia presentations. You might want to consider one or more of these elements in your executive career communications portfolio.
Employee Referrals are Critical to Cultivate:
- Networking has long been the #1 way to land a new job. This job search tactic assumes even more importance in light of the proliferation of employee referral programs. Increasing numbers of employers are revamping such programs and relying on them more than ever before.
- According to Career Thought Leader’s Brainstorming Day White Paper, “Inside referrals lead to jobs. Companies are increasingly making it a formal policy and goal to derive most new hires from employee referrals.” This commitment is reinforced by the fact that the retention rate and hire rate of employee referrals is much stronger than results from online job applications.
Thought Leadership Sets You Apart:
- Thought leadership is emerging as a key career management strategy. Demonstrating expertise via writing (articles, blogging, and guest blogging), training, and presentations yields long-term career growth and cultivates long-term career possibilities.
- Thought leadership is both a short-term and a long-term job search and career management best practice. The savvy professional will look for ways to showcase their thought leadership today and well into the future in order to cultivate career possibilities for years to come.
Talent Shortages Are Coming:
- Currently there is a shortfall of qualified candidates for jobs in IT, finance, banking, and engineering. Such shortages will broaden in the next decade and beyond as the number skilled professionals in the job market declines.
- Smart candidates who possess skills in these areas will revamp their resumes and LinkedIn profiles accordingly and conduct a targeted search in these industries.
Portfolio Careers Are on the Rise:
- Self-employment is on the rise as is the trend to hire workers on a project-by-project basis. Many employers are laying off full-time staff and rehiring key talent in consulting roles. In fact, by 2020 more than 50% of employees will work on a project basis.
- Skilled workers need to begin thinking about their career not as a series of full-time jobs but as a portfolio of projects or income streams.
Proactive Career Management Key to Long-Term Employment:
- The secret to long-term employment is ongoing career management. With fewer job prospects and increased competition in the labor market, it is vital that job seekers manage their careers not just when they are looking for a job but on a continuous basis. Professionals can no longer afford to disregard their resume or LinkedIn profile just because they aren’t in active search mode.
- Candidates need to work harder to position and brand themselves. In a world where effective branding opens doors, choosing not to have one equates to career suicide.
There are quite a few action steps noted here. Which 2-3 make the most sense for you to implement right now? Prioritize one and schedule it for implementation as soon as you can – your career success depends on proactive adoption of these emerging best practices.
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