As baseball sage Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” This feels especially fitting for the fast-spinning cycle that is hiring and job seeking, with technology and social media making it feel like things are shifting constantly. But there are already some trends showing for 2020, which you should keep in mind for your own job hunt this year.
Recession or no recession? Economists are conflicted about whether there’s trouble on the horizon. Companies are tending to be cautious, though, and may be trying to adopt leaner, meaner hiring and recruiting strategies for the year. An economic downturn may also mean more applicants in the pool for fewer jobs. Still, don’t let that discourage you. While companies may be flooded with applicants for open positions, they tend to receive more unqualified or stretch applicants during this time as well.
Building a strong application package (tailored resume, detailed skills, and experience, strategic application submissions) can help you differentiate yourself in that pool, even if the economy is trending downward.
We do virtually everything on our phones these days: shop, research, communicate, order food, get news and information, etc. And in fact, 81% of U.S. adults own a smartphone, so employers are trying to go where the candidates are. That means mobile outreach is becoming a major recruiting priority for companies. For companies that have relied more on desktop websites and platforms to attract and process applicants, this also means that they’ll be optimizing their sites for mobile use.
For your own job search, you should be open to using these new mobile technologies to find and take advantage of opportunities as they come. Your resume should be clear and easy to read on a number of different platforms (large screen or small), and easily accessible to you when you’re on your phone or tablet and away from a computer.
Focus on culture
Skills and experience will always be among the most important determining factors in the hiring process, but companies are increasingly looking for people who will be good cultural fits as well. From a worker perspective, this tends to make companies more employee-friendly—instead of a cold cubicle farm that takes your work and spits you out at the end of the day.
Sussing out a company’s culture while you’re still in the initial research phase can help you a) figure out if you would enjoy working there, and b) develop talking points if you’re called in for an interview. Check the company’s website to read up on its history, mission, vision, values, and the like. You can also look at review sites like Glassdoor or Salary.com to see what others say about what it’s like to work there. Corporate boilerplate and subjective stories from ex-employees likely won’t give you the whole picture of a company’s culture, but it should give you some basic knowledge about what the company expects from its employees, what its priorities are, and other bits of knowledge you can use to show you’d be a great fit.
Emphasis on diversity
Most companies are prioritizing diversity, both in the traditional sense (gender, ethnic, religious) and in the kinds of perspectives they hire. If you can, call out the ways you could contribute to the diversity of the company and the unique skills or experiences you bring.
As always, a little prep goes a long way in your job search, no matter what’s happening in your industry or in the hiring economy in general. The more care and curation you bring to every job application, the more successfully you’ll be able to capitalize on these trends and land the right new job. Good luck!