Job Search Trends

These Job Search Trends Are Changing Everything

With half the year over, it’s helpful to look back at some of the trends that are emerging in the job market. Social media, mobile devices, the use of applicant tracking systems and a major shift in demographics are all changing the job search environment. Below are some of the biggest trends this year so far.

Boomers Retiring

Baby Boomers are starting to retire and the momentum is only going to accelerate in the coming years. According to the ADP Retirement Institute, 18% of the workforce could retire in the next five years, causing major shifts in workplace demographics.

On the downside, the increase in retirees could potentially strain an economy that is still struggling to recover. On the bright side, this could open up many new jobs for younger job seekers.

Portfolio Careers on the Rise

Working as a freelancer or temporary employee is becoming more common. In fact, many believe it will someday become the norm. According to a study cited by an article in Quartz, more than 40% of the U.S. workforce will be “so-called contingent workers” by 2020. That’s more than 60 million people.

While this is especially good news for those who prefer more flexible schedules, the news is not so good for those who prefer more job security and benefits.

Social Recruiting

Social recruiting has become an essential resource in the hunt for qualified job candidates. Employers consistently rate referrals as being the most desirable job candidates. According to a recent survey by Jobvite, 92% of U.S. companies use social networks and media to find talent. While LinkedIn continues to be their network of choice, Facebook and Twitter are steadily gaining in popularity.

LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are also valuable for following companies and searching for job listings. Through a little research, job seekers can directly connect with recruiters via social media and begin building a relationship.

Use of Mobile Devices

According to a recent survey by GlassDoor, 9 in 10 job seekers say they’re apt to use their mobile device during their job search in the next 12 months, up seven percentage points from the previous year. This could become the norm as more companies’ websites become mobile friendly.

Those who use mobile devices in their job search are clearly at an advantage. A recent study by The Ladders found that you need to apply to a job within 72 hours after it has been posted online—after that, your chances of being hired drop by more than 50 percent.

Virtual Resumes

Most job candidates are now cyber-vetted before they even reach an interview. This means that you’re putting an employer’s first impression of you in the hands of the Internet gods. For that reason, resumes are increasingly becoming only a piece of the puzzle.

While there’s still a place for a document that highlights your experience and job history, it’s important to pay special attention to your overall online footprint. Resumes will eventually become part of an aggregation of social media and personal web sites, featuring less actual content but more links to projects, social media, video bios, professional networks, portfolios, infographics, multimedia presentations and other biographical information.

These online summaries can provide an employer with a richer, deeper and more engaging impression of you, which can either be a good thing or bad thing depending on how vigilant you’ve been. At any rate, it puts you in charge of what a recruiter sees and potentially says more about you than any resume ever could.

Written by

Nicole Cavazos is a Los Angeles-based copywriter and blogger. As a former contributor to the ZipRecruiter blog, she covered the job market and wrote advice for job seekers.

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