5 New Rules to Apply to Your Job Search

Job searches used to consist of perusing the Sunday newspaper’s classified ads, calling an actual phone number, and sending an all-purpose resume through snail mail. Thanks to modern technology, the newspaper has been replaced by online job boards, and hardly anyone makes calls or uses the post office anymore. The process has gone digital, which means companies expect efficiency, proficiency, and customization from their applicants. Here are five new rules you need to follow to make your job search successful in 2019 and beyond.

new rules job search

1. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are huge

Most companies use digital storage and sorting systems to organize, analyze, and retrieve resumes—before they’re ever seen by human eyes. These ATSs filter by keyword, meaning you must tailor your resume to the advertised position in order to make it through. As U.S. News and World Report points out, “Because of how prevalent these systems are, it's so important that you take time to customize or refocus your resume for each job you apply to and ensure it includes the appropriate keywords and skills.” Modifying your resume and cover letter to mirror the job requirements, you have a much better chance of snagging an interview.

Just be careful not to overdo it. Remember, once your application makes it through the ATS, it will be read by a person, so it needs to flow.

2. Job bots and chat bots are prevalent

Bots like Stella, Mosaic, and Newton are designed to help both job seekers and employers develop efficient strategies. Using artificial intelligence to check applicant’s skills is becoming a common practice for larger organization, which means your resume needs stand out in a different way than in the past.  AI is not going to catch a clever reference or understand your sense of humor. It’s going to search for qualifications that match what the company is looking for. So make sure your resume lists those qualifications.

There are also bots that work directly for the job seeker, continuously searching the web for matches so you don’t have to. They can even offer you career advice. While bots may seem a little impersonal, they are definitely an efficient way of matching employees with employers; which means they’re probably here to stay.

3. Research is easier than ever

There was a time in the not-so-distant past that researching an organization was a painstaking process.  Not now! Today, all you have to do to find out about a company is Google it. There’s no excuse for walking into an interview knowing nothing about the business, its CEOs, and its major accomplishments. Ignorance may have been forgiven in the past. But employers today don’t just like it when applicants do their homework—they expect it. 

4. Referrals are vital

Employee referral programs are all the rage. According to EmployeeReferrals.com, when companies hire a candidate recommended by a current employee, they save time, money, and aggravation. Plus, the referred employee is 50 percent more likely to stick around. If you know someone who has an “in” at an organization you’ve been pursuing, use your connection.

Most employers today are chomping at the bit for great referrals. And, back to rule #2 on this list, the more you network, the greater your chances are to connect with someone on the inside track.

5. Everything is fair game

You might think you can separate your private life from your professional life. Remember, your online presence is not private. Your potential employer can research you just as easily as you research him. What’s on your Facebook or Instagram profile could easily take you out of the running for your dream job. Think of yourself as a brand, and be very careful what you post, as well as what you allow others to post about you.

There is no doubt the job seeking game has changed quite a bit, and if you don’t know the new rules it can be easy to get left behind. Get rid of the old standby methods of job searching to win the big prize!

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