Some Interesting Trends Relating to Your Career

When I was a full time practicing attorney, I spent hoards of time keeping abreast of the ever changing legal landscape. I have found that keeping up with the evolving career market is every bit as challenging—it has become a very complex and dynamic area, much to the surprise of most people who have not recently had good reason to pay attention.

Waiting until you are in serious “job-seeking mode,” which is a full time job in itself, is not the ideal time to either “dust off” your resume or begin the steep learning curve of what you may be up against “out there.” So even if you are not actively seeking new employment, you may find it helpful to know a few things.

Along with 250 other career professionals, I participated in “Global Brainstorming Day” on October 14, 2011, an annual event hosted by Career Thought Leaders Consortium. The goal of this event is to discuss and document current and future trends in the career industry. The results were recently published, and the following is a brief overview of just some of the interesting findings.

What is ATS and Why Should I Care?

Applicant Tracking Systems (“ATS”) are software programs that scan resumes to determine an applicant’s fit for a particular position, and they are in wide use. It is no longer enough to have an attractive Word document to take to an interview; you additionally need a resume formatted and edited to overcome these software system hurdles if your resume is ever to see human eyes. Thankfully, technology is emerging to help applicants tackle ATS, such as Preptel’s “Resumeter.”

Shorter is Better

Nobody reviewing hundreds of resumes wants to read one word more than is necessary. Keep it to one page if possible, though two is fine if justified by relevant information. Don’t go over two pages without a very good reason. And keep your sentences short, crisp, impactful and easy to skim. Some predict that the traditional resume may even eventually be replaced by a 140-character Tweet!

Bells and Whistles

While keeping your resume short is the norm, there is a trend toward supplementing your resume by adding links, such as your website or personal bio, or QR (“Quick Response”) Codes. It is also becoming popular to add pertinent “extra” information, such as community activities, and testimonials (space permitting of course) in order to further distinguish yourself.

Mini Me

Speaking of keeping it short, one-page “networking” resumes and two-sided business cards that serve as micro-resumes are gaining popularity for use at networking events.

The Use of Multimedia

The consensus is that video resumes are not popular among recruiters for a number of reasons, chief of which is time consumption. If, however, you are considering video, do it right—make sure it is professional and brief. Embedded audio or video links in traditional resumes are good alternatives. Not surprisingly, the use of tools such as Skype are increasingly being used for interviewing.

Don’t Forget Your Linkedin Profile

Linkedin is increasingly becoming a job seeker’s “first impression,” followed by submission of a resume, and Linkedin is expected to continue to overtake traditional resumes in importance. In fact, Linkedin now offers a job-search service whereby employers can post positions and candidates can apply using their profiles. Additionally, Linkedin is being used more and more for job searching and recruiting. A common belief is that if you are not on Linkedin, your are “invisible.” But beware: do not cut and paste your resume into your Linkedin Profile; instead, write your profile in the first person, and in a slightly more informal “story-like” manner than your resume. Facebook, which accommodates multimedia, may overtake Linkedin if the latter doesn’t add this feature at some point.

Job Searching

Job boards and aggregators are multiplying, and many are becoming industry specific, making it easier for the candidate to narrow down the job search. Twitter and Facebook are becoming common forums for job postings and networking. Google+ is relatively new, and it seems too soon to tell whether it will be a contender.

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