The New Rules of Job Searching — What You Need to Know Now

Woman in yellow sweater job searching on a laptopSearching for a job looks very different than it did just a few years ago.

Factors such as rapid advancements in technology, cultural shifts and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, have all played a part.

Here are the five key ways job searching has changed in recent years:

  1. Recruiting has become more automated.
  2. A strong online presence is important. 
  3. Remote opportunities are more common.
  4. The job search is more transparent than ever.
  5. Job searching is less formal than it used to be. 

Wondering what these changes mean for job seekers? 

We can help.

Below we provide more information regarding the impact of these changes and what job seekers can do to set themselves up for job search success. 

How Job Searching Has Changed

1. Recruiting has become more automated.

Nowadays, many employers require job seekers to submit their resume through online portals. 

These portals filter resumes based on keyword relevance to a particular job. This way, recruiters only ever see resumes that are most closely related to the job they’re hiring for.

So if you want a recruiter to come across your resume, align it to the job description. 

Look at what skills are required for the position. Assuming your skills are in line with the role, make sure you are using the same language in your resume as they use in the job description. 

Using the right keywords will strengthen your resume and increase your chances of making it through any automated filters and in front of a hiring manager.

2. A strong online presence is important.

People don’t often think about it, but employers use social media to screen candidates. 

In fact, an interested hiring manager will likely look for you on social platforms, such as LinkedIn — and even Facebook and Instagram! 

So before you start applying to jobs, be mindful of your social media presence. Check that your personal social media doesn’t contain anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see. (Or set your social profiles to private.) 

Take some time to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your skills and experience are up-to-date. And consider asking for referrals from past bosses and colleagues to boost your brand. 

A strong online presence can go a long way towards making a positive impression on a hiring manager and can considerably strengthen your job application.

3. Remote opportunities are more and more common.

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many companies started offering work-from-home as an option. In fact, May of 2021 saw a 5 time increase in remote job postings compared to May of 2020. 

Not only are remote job opportunities more common, the interest in remote opportunities is higher than ever. 

So if you are a job seeker looking for a work-from-home job, be prepared for some heavy competition. 

Want to increase your chances of finding a job? Be flexible. Don’t dismiss in-person jobs completely.

There are many businesses in need of on-site help and being open to this type of work can give you an edge in your job search. And it significantly increases the number of jobs available to you! 

4. The job search is more transparent than ever.

Thanks to sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, it’s easier than ever for job seekers to get an idea of what it’s like to work for a specific company.

Unlike other changes, this is an obvious win for someone searching for employment.

Now, you can search online for company reviews and read feedback from current and past employees. This is a great way to learn what people think of an organization. 

That said, do take reviews with a grain of salt, as they don’t always paint a full picture. 

Instead, use them as a baseline in determining what job or companies make sense for you.

5. Job searching is less formal than it used to be.

As the world gets less and less formal, so does the job search. 

Gone are the days when cover letters were required with your job application. As a matter of fact, some employers don’t even ask for a resume! 

Most employers also don’t expect to be addressed as formally anymore. Your emails to hiring managers can be more casual than they used to be. For example, you usually won’t need to use formal greetings and sign-offs. 

In the same vein, interview dress-codes are generally relaxed. In a lot of cases, a clean pair of jeans and a button down shirt will work great. 

If you’re unsure how formal you should be, take your cues from the hiring manager. When in doubt, it’s better to be too polite and overdressed than risk looking unprofessional.

As you can see, searching for a job looks quite different than it did even ten years ago. Being aware of these changes will help you navigate the job search and set yourself up for success.

And if you want more tips on how to go about looking for work, we have some great blog posts for you:

How TERRA Can Be a Resource

TERRA Staffing Group is a leading staffing agency, headquartered in the Pacific Northwest. 

We work with many companies across a variety of industries in the Seattle-Puget Sound, Portland, Phoenix, and Denver-Metro areas.

Our expert recruiters can help you navigate the job search and find your perfect opportunity. Contact us today! We’d love to help you find the right fit.

Or check out our current job openings to get a sense of what jobs might be available to you!

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