The face of job hunting has changed as we know it. In the past few years, the Internet and other technological advances have made finding a job a job in itself. The days of simply responding to a newspaper ad with a cover letter and résumé are gone forever. Now more than ever, job seekers must adapt and adjust to a job market in flux. This is especially true when you consider the fact that no one works for the same company all their lives anymore. Becoming a better job hunter takes on a more vital role as people learn to become their own career managers.
Today's job market presents many demands and challenges for the average job seeker. You must constantly scan Internet job boards in search of fresh postings, you must create multiple versions of your résumé in various formats and you must be familiar with e-mail etiquette and the latest networking techniques. All of these new rules can be daunting, especially if you haven't had to look for a job in recent years or are just entering the workforce. Those who cannot adapt to this new reality will face extended job hunts.
There is also increased competition for the jobs that are available. If you plan on applying for jobs in areas like Administrative, Customer Service, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Sales or anything computer-related you can expect to find dozens, sometimes hundreds, of other applicants for those positions. Your résumé becomes just another sheet of paper in a pile.
So what do you do?
The answer lies in becoming a better job seeker and learning the new rules for job hunting in the 21st century. A job hunt is really all about marketing yourself and maximizing your search. As more and more of our job security disappears, you must become responsible for your own career path. Let me explain.
Too many job seekers rely solely on the Internet to find jobs. You MUST maximize your job search by following all possible avenues of hire. Networking and referrals are still the easiest way to get a job. It's estimated that 70-80% of all new hires are found this way (Fig. 1). A proper job search strategy is all-inclusive and involves tailoring your approach to each particular opportunity.
You need to educate yourself on what job search success is. This career podcast is a good way to start that process. Listen and learn!