4 Job Search Tips You’ll Need in the New Year

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aslysun; Bigstock

aslysun; Bigstock

2016 is officially here. While potentially your life isn’t radically different from last year at this point, you can definitely expect some changes to the job search this year. We’ve already looked at how the job market is expected to change this year. Now let’s take a look new trends in the job search.

Here are four trends and job search tips for your job search this year:

1. The rise of the mobile job search

The world became mobile long before the start of 2016. But in the new year, the importance of mobile will continue to grow, especially in the job search. In fact, in a survey conducted by JobVite in 2015, 47 percent of millennials used mobile in their job search. Last year, job seekers used mobile to search for and apply to jobs in bed, during their commute, at work, and even in the bathroom.

Searching for jobs on mobile is easy — there are countless job search apps and career websites are optimized for mobile. So to get ahead, you need to apply to jobs on mobile, which isn’t always easy.

Job search tips: Make the mobile application process easier with a little preparation. Upload your resumes and cover letter to the cloud so you have access to them from any device. Use Google Drive, Dropbox, or similar tools to draft and store your application materials so you can apply to any job at any time using any device.

2. The overlap of the social and professional network

While you’re searching for jobs on your smartphone, recruiters are scrolling through social media feeds to find the talent they need. In a survey of recruiters in July 2015 conducted by Jobvite, 55 percent said they use Facebook to find candidates and 47 percent use Twitter. Although these platforms were designed for personal use, they’re being used for professional purposes more and more. After all, 56 percent of recruiters agree social media is an effective source for quality hires.

Job search tips: Don’t wait for recruiters and employers to magically find you on social media — get on their radar. Follow employers you’re interested in and the influential industry professionals. Join groups and actively participate in conversations that showcase your skills and knowledge.

3. The art of the video interview

Face to face interactions are slowly being replaced with digital forms of communication — and the trend can be seen in the job search. In the same survey of job seekers surveyed by Jobvite, 31 percent have had a job interview by video or Skype.

Although similar, video interviews are a whole new ballgame you need to be prepared for. They present new challenges and opportunities you need to be aware of to succeed in your job search.

Job search tips: Although a video interview may seem more relaxed, appearance still matters. Pay attention to what’s in the background of your interview, sources of background noise, and issues with internet connection before the big day. Being on camera can make some people nervous, so practice in front of your webcam to check that your eye contact and body language are sending the right message.

4. The reverse reference check

In the past, employers turned to their employees and colleagues for references during the hiring process. But more and more job seekers are looking for references before they apply to employers.  

In a survey conducted by LinkedIn in 2015, 50 percent of job seekers said they turn to their friends and colleagues first when starting a job search. Job seekers do this for two reasons — to check out opportunities or possible references, and to check out the employer to see what it’s like to work at the company. As a job seeker, you want to know that you would look working for the company before investing the time in the application.

Job search tips: Spend time researching the employer. Scroll through their social media feed, read employee reviews, and contact anyone in your network who has worked at the company. If you still have questions, ask if you can speak with an employee during the interview process.

In 2016,  be on the lookout for new opportunities to move your career forward. Use these trends and job search tips to improve your search and find the job you’re looking for.

Which job search tips will be most important in 2016? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, LinkedIn.