I’ve helped a lot of candidates flesh out their job search strategy, including the changes and improvements they need to make to their job search.
When I think about the ways recruiting has been transformed in the last few years, a lot of changes have happened “behind the scenes”. That’s to say that if you’re a recruiter – or interact with a lot of recruiters – then you’ll be aware of these changes.
But if you’re a candidate without close recruiter contacts, you may not be aware of the latest best practices to follow in order to get hired. Chances are you’ll not have fully appreciated changes such as:
The Growth of the “Hidden Jobs Market”
Far, far more hiring is now being undertaken by internal recruitment teams researching and approaching the candidates they would like to hire for their openings, without those openings ever being publicly advertised.
So as a candidate, you need to invest the time to ensure your social profiles are keyword rich and optimized to be found by recruiters in your professional niche.
The Increasing Importance of Employee Referral Programs
The combination of the reach of social networks and the power of candidate matching technologies has greatly increased the impact of employers’ referral programs. Where once these were employers’ preferred source of candidate but only able to deliver a trickle of applicants, today they have become a far more significant source of hires.
As well as ensuring your social profiles are optimized, you also have to expand your networks as much as possible so that you increasingly appear as a potential match for new openings. You have to be well connected to stand any chance of being picked up by an employee referral scheme.
Hiring Has Become Far More Targeted – Your Application Strategy Should Reflect This
Back in the boom hiring years, companies were often hiring waves of employees at a time. There was a degree to which companies would create jobs to fit the profile of a strong candidate – or at least would keep your details on file and shortly thereafter be in a position to need someone with your broad skillset. Today hiring is completely different.
Companies are looking to fill very specific openings – and are therefore seeking a very specific skillset and experience profile. For job seekers, this means it’s imperative that you invest more time in tracking down roles for which you are an ideal fit; and invest more time in crafting tailored applications that present you in the best possible light for each opening. Applying en masse to jobs is simply no longer a credible job search strategy for anyone aspiring to any kind of professional or executive position.
Your Social Profiles Can Make or Break Your Application
You have to assume that any recruiter looking at your resume is going to simultaneously have your LinkedIn profile open. Discrepancies between the two are going to be noticed. Recommendations or errors on your profile could be every bit as influential to the recruiter as the actual application you submitted. Plus you have to assume that all other social activity could come into play in their decision – so vet yourself and your web presence proactively before you submit a single application.
I could go on – and indeed I think I will in a detailed video tutorial in the coming months. From all these interactions in the last weeks, I’ve become convinced that the biggest problem here isn’t that job seekers are in denial. There’s no sign that candidates are just behaving as if nothing’s changed in the last years and refusing to adapt.
No, it’s rather the case that most candidates don’t have the insider insights to know what it is that has changed – and therefore to be able to think coherently about how their job search needs to be adapted. I hope the above thoughts have at least given you some inklings as to where your focus should now be. Would an insider briefing be beneficial to you? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Social-Hire.com!
About the Author: Tony Restell is the Founder of Social-Hire.com, focused on helping candidates and recruiters make the best possible use of social media. A published author and Cambridge graduate, you can follow Tony on Twitter or on Google+.