What You Don't Know About Job Search in 2012

job search tips 2012Given the amount of information and resources available to job seekers today, I'm sure you think there's nothing you don't know about looking for work in 2012. Well, here are three things you may not have realized about job search these days:

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.

More: Top 20 Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree

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!

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now


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Job Mango

Great post. Can't agree more with #3. Got out there and create what you want! Make informational meetings, go to networking events! If you really want it you'll do it with out thinking twice. In the mean while you're probably applying to more jobs that you ever thought you would. How are you staying organized during your job search? Traditionally people have used spreadsheets to keep track of their applications, today there is www.JobMango.com a free job search management website. Easily manage your job search from one location and with tools like passwords storage and follow up reminders you will never miss a beat in your job search again.

November 14 2012 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Other than being more competitie and more tecnelogical, the job market today is similar to what it has always been. If you can prove that you will fill a need that a company has you will get the job. You cant be lazy you have to do your homework, you need to know what the compay needs and how your skill set can fill those needs. We hired a guy that came to us when we needed help with our healthcare crm. He proved to us that he could fill exactly what we needed and got the job. http://www.marketware.com

October 03 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Very well stated points, JT. They are critical to anyone who is in job search mode.

Please allow me to add to the conversation -- as a small business owner of 22 years -- with what I learned over the past year when, to qualify for a short sale of my home without going into default, I had to interview for positions around the US.

First, I had a hiring manager tell me he had a "void," not a job, to fill. That meant there was no one perfect candidate. it didn't matter what credentials I or anyone else brought to the situation. What mattered most was the changing landscape of needs inside his enterprise and how he was able to address them. Ultimately, after spending several days visiting with him onsite, he scoped the position much smaller than what he and I discussed as being possible. And he elected to hire someone who only had that skill set and nothing more. This was invaluable to me -- I learned a lot about the firm, the industry, and this man who I will continue to stay in touch with over time.

Second, I love brokering recruiters on the management side of the house (there are also many in IT). They often have immediate needs to fill and tend to be very responsive. Which means you have to write to them as soon as they post an opening. More than 50 percent of the time, I've gotten screened through to hiring managers for conversations. Each time I learned something more about the industries and functions within which I do work. Being a strategist, this was wonderful competitive intelligence info I couldn't get elsewhere.

As well, make friends with these brokers. A few really do have your best interest in mind. On the other hand, I found traditional recruiters and head hunters do not. I found one broker who has gotten to know my advanced skill set so well that he actually found a CEO for me to talk to about creating a role that would merge what my firm does with his. While I've no idea where this might lead, I know we are both benefiting from the conversations because we bring varied and different expertise to the table.

Thanks so much for allowing me to share my experiences relative to the points you raised.

June 28 2012 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You didn't birth all of our Soldiers in out Military and Police Officers on the street. Most of them come from the Middle, Working of Poor of our social classes which you are treasonously destroying!. Do you think they will kill their parents and friends?

June 16 2012 at 7:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Actually employers will soon have an even bigger problem? Getting to work every day without having to worry about dying!!

June 16 2012 at 7:12 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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