The last noisemaker has been blown, and the final piece of confetti has been cleared away. 2014 is gone, and the year ahead beckons with equal degrees of uncertainty and promise — particularly for job seekers looking to make a change in the new year. Consider these three essential strategies when positioning yourself to find the job of your dreams before 2015 makes its glittering exit.
Make the Most of Your “Passive” Search
According to a recent survey, a staggering two-thirds of employed Americans are open to new employment opportunities. Known as passive job seekers, this portion of the population — 110.5 million people, to be exact — represent an increasingly important part of the hiring process.
If you’re dragging your feet on putting out feelers because you don’t want to alert your current employer that you’re looking or if you just don’t have time to devote to a full-time job search, the latest websites and mobile apps do the work for you. It’s no longer about sending out a bunch of resumes in the hopes that one will end up in the non-shred pile. Instead, it’s about an intuitive process through which your skills and characteristics are matched with the needs of a particular employer. This saves time for both entities, and increases the odds of a successful fit.
Be Prepared To Show Them What You’ve Got
Skills on a page are one thing, but real-world ability to solve problems and inspire innovation? That’s more difficult to judge. Job hunters entering the market in 2015 should be prepared for human resources professionals who are attempting to look beyond their on-paper qualifications in order to determine how they’ll meaningfully integrate into the workplace.
From on-site simulations to phone interview assessments and challenges, these “tryouts” mimic the responsibilities of a role in order to offer hiring managers a clearer picture of how a candidate’s skill set translates to the real world.
By thinking of these tests as an opportunity to show off your skills, you can position yourself to make a positive impression. And these tryouts don’t just benefit the employer: they also give job seekers the chance to vet a potential employer, in return.
Use Your Network
Social media is here to stay as an increasingly popular means through which job seekers find employment. In fact, a full half of job seekers use social networking when looking for new jobs.
But we’re not talking about using Facebook or LinkedIn to bombard your contacts with pleas for employment. Rather, it’s about establishing yourself as a consistent and appealing presence.
Consider this: nearly 40 percent of employers screen potential job candidates through social media. Does your social media presence say what you want it to say? If not, now is the time to determine your message and start communicating it through multiple channels. Of course, this means removing any negative or unprofessional photos and comments, but it also means the opportunity to nurture your professional relationships.
Participating in industry-related groups, job boards, and forums give you even more of a chance to position yourself as a thought leader — a sought after skill set by today’s forward-thinking employers.
The brave new world of job seeking may be different than it was 50, 25 or even five years ago, but applicants willing to adapt and evolve are likely to see promising results in 2015.