What You Don't Know About Job Search in 2012
1. ATS is killing your chances of getting an interview.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are designed to help companies manage the overwhelming process of taking in resumes and finding the best candidates for a job. However, studies show ATS often weeds out the best people for the position. Why? Because the technology cannot take into account things like personality, soft skills, and even transferable experience. Ask any savvy hiring pro today and they'll tell you that they hire based on personality, aptitude and knowledge – three things ATS can't evaluate well. Your only work-around is to network your way into a company and build relationships with employees who can get your resume past the ATS.
2. Your next position doesn't have a job title.
Companies are realizing that hiring people for a specific job title is risky business. That's because the rate of change going on today makes it highly unlikely the employer can guarantee what you are doing for them now will be what you will be doing for them six months from now. Instead, companies are looking for people to take on "roles" or be "problem-solvers." Job search today involves positioning yourself as a subject-matter expert on how to solve these problems and execute the roles effectively.
3. The job you really want doesn't exist... yet.
Job search today is like going to a used car lot. You are forced to pick from what's available. Instead of matching themselves to the limited number of jobs posted in this competitive market, smart job seekers are reversing the process. They create highly targeted "Interview Bucket Lists" designed to focus their networking and personal branding efforts. The result is an emphasis on high-payoff activities like informational interviews that lead to meaningful conversations with people that can help them identify what value they want to bring to a company (a.k.a. what kind of work they want to be doing) and then pitch themselves to employers.
Job search in 2012 is about being ahead of the pack in terms of what really works. If you aren't getting the results you are looking for, it may be time to go back to the beginning and re-evaluate your approach. Scientists say gathering new information, experimentation, and embracing innovation are the secrets to getting different, better results. Well, the same applies to the science of job search!
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J.T. O'Donnell is a career and workplace expert who founded the top-ranked career advice site, CAREEREALISM.com. In 2009, she launched CareerHMO, the first on-line career care membership site which specializes in curing chronic career pain.
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