If you’ve been looking for a new role for the last few months, you are likely feeling frustrated. The end of the year, amidst holiday schedules and dwindling HR budgets, can prove to be a very frustrating time to dish out your resume. But good news! It’s 2018! It’s a new start, and a perfect time to honour your New Year’s resolution of finding your dream job.
Why is it a great time to start your search?
Hiring starts to pick up in February and March, which makes January a fantastic time to revamp your resume and start getting your feet wet in the job market. Use this time to research companies you want to work for, seek out new trends in your industry, and revamp your existing resume and cover letter. Come mid-month, you will be ready to hit the ground running!
So, what are some trends to keep in mind when looking for a job in 2018? Check out our suggestions.
Tailor your resume
While keeping your formatting clean and simple is still on trend, customized or targeted content has become most important as more companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to help identify qualified applicants. ATS systems rank candidates based on keyword match, so list your skills using industry standard words and terms that mirror the language used in the job description.
It’s also more important than ever to highlight your resume with stats and numbers. This showcases your track record, and highlights your potential value to a company with tangible figures that show you were effective in your former role(s).
Don’t give up on networking
Networking is no longer about meeting colleagues and exchanging business cards. Networking has become more of a give-and-take practice that not only helps you with your credibility in your industry, but also shows that you have a vested interest in the success of people in your personal network.
Check out what Robert Half Canada had to say about networking at the last Workopolis Twitter chat:
A6: Networking gives your resume and social media presence legs. It demonstrates your engagement in an industry, your ability to communicate professionally, and makes you recognizable among peers & potential hiring managers. #WorkoWednesday
— Robert Half Canada (@RobertHalf_CAN) January 3, 2018
When connecting on social media, it’s no longer about how many contacts you have. What’s most important is the amount of valuable, quality contacts you can maintain and interact with on a regular basis.
For example – if you see a role in your search that might be perfect for someone in your network, pass it along. Additionally, if you are looking for expertise from a subject matter expert, reach out to let your contact know that you value their opinion. If your contact is looking for advice, and you happen to have seen a great article that matches the ask – send it their way! Great networking is not about what you can absorb, but also what you can give back. Add value to your network, and you will see greater rewards in your own job search.
Work on your personal branding
Personal branding is your reputation in the industry and helps shape what people say and feel about you as a potential employee. It helps you build credibility and sets you apart from the competition when you are looking for your next great gig.
To help define your personal brand, it’s important to outline your goals, values, motivations, and passions. Think about what makes you remarkable as a candidate, and showcase this feature when you set up your personal social media profiles, and write your resume and cover letter. You can also use other tools to broadcast your personal brand such as personal websites, blogs, podcasts, online chat groups, and industry events.
It’s important to be genuine. Ensure that any content you create or share is truly reflective of your interests and expertise. Be diligent in updating your channels often, and share interesting content that showcases your eagerness to learn and grow in your career space.
The Workforce Development Board had this to say about personal branding at our Twitter chat:
A4 – It’s not an easy task for a lot of people but don’t be afraid to sell yourself and celebrate your accomplishments. As we’re going to be talking about shortly, these are important aspects of building your personal brand and a great way to win over a prospective employer. pic.twitter.com/QAJDiyW4jb
— LEPC (@WorkforceDB) January 3, 2018
Keep your eye on hot industries
No surprise that there are always key industries that tend to emerge as market climates change. This is also the case with the job market. This might be your time to check out industries that you’ve never considered working in before such as occupations in cyber security, artificial intelligence, and wireless networking. The tech industry may also continue to have some of the hottest career options of 2018.
Innovative roles in ecommerce, technology, and content marketing are also on the rise, as more companies are adapting to the paradigm shift of how people support businesses. With this, also comes the opportunity to join a remote workforce and possibly work from home. Companies are being forced to put more emphasis on catering to their mobile consumers, so roles that support this type of business will continue to boom this year.
It’s an exciting time to be entering the job market. The nature of business and creating positive experiences for a rapidly growing online community is key. This said, some roles continue to not be embraced as readily by the emerging workforce, so Canada will continue to see a gap here. It’s a great opportunity to shift into this space.
No matter your industry, your ability to search for a role in 2018 will heavily depend on what you can give back to the workforce. Whether it’s knowledge, content or proven results, it is very much a combined effort of both “who you know” and “what you know.” Be sincere, consistent and passionate in your endeavours, and you will find that the new year will have a lot of exciting opportunities to offer you.
Sonya Matheson is a recruitment and employer branding consultant with Workopolis. Specializing in candidate experience, she has been working to help companies hire better for the last 15 years.
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