The Job Market Has Changed - How Candidates Can Impress Employers Today

Posted: 1st November 2015 16:05

Like just about everything else in life, the job market has changed significantly over the last 20 years. Back then, jobs would typically be advertised in local newspapers or in specific trade publications on a set day– journalists would always scour the pages of the Press Gazette, for example – and potential candidates would respond by sending out a CV and a covering letter. It was a fairly mechanical process, and if an applicant’s qualifications matched the job position, the next step would usually be a formal interview.
But job hunting has changed. Vacancies are no longer advertised on the same day every week. Recruitment websites  are updated constantly, so there are far more opportunities for the jobseeker now than ever before – provided they adopt a switched-on, agile approach and are aware of what employers are looking for from candidates in today’s current climate.
Here are a few tips:
Work experience
Increasingly, employers want people who have strong relevant experience of the world of work. A university degree and qualifications remain valid, of course, but job-hunting graduates are plentiful and a degree is now no longer just enough on its own to guarantee employment. Hiring companies want to see candidates who can demonstrate that they have the discipline and the drive to hold down a job – even if it’s in a completely different industry.

Being savvy on social media
This is a double whammy. A CV on its own is not enough anymore – if you don’t include a link to a Twitter handle or a LinkedIn page (or both) then the employer will be disappointed. Providing these details allows hiring managers to look into your profile and gain further insight into your character; this might be the difference between securing an interview and not.
At the same time, the candidate has to be sure that they are conducting themselves professionally on their social media accounts. If your Twitter time line is full of complaints about a current employer, you’ve shot yourself in the foot – don’t expect your application to go any further. So, in summary: be on social media, disclose those accounts, but make sure there’s nothing incriminating on there.
A targeted CV
Lengthy and detailed CVs are out - recruiters and managers simply don’t have the time to spend poring over pages and pages. The average time spent reading a CV, according to this article on Forbes, is only 30 seconds! That’s a sobering thought for the jobseeker, so your life story is not required. The key is an attention-grabbing profile, written in bullet-points if needs be, which must be tailored to the role for which you’re applying – why you’d be perfect for the position.
The smart job seeker doesn’t wait for the perfect opportunity to be advertised – they pre-empt it becoming available by networking effectively. If you’re certain on the role and the industry in which you wish to work, make yourself known to the key influencers. This doesn’t mean turning up at the offices of particular employers and making a nuisance of yourself, but it does mean researching companies you’d love to work for and reaching out to them. This blogreveals that while 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, only 36% of candidates are.
By marketing yourself and raising your profile your name will be known even before a job role becomes public knowledge.