What do you need to know in order to manage your career and job search effectively in 2017?
I invited resume writers, recruiters and job search coaches to share their predictions for 2017.
Overall, their predictions fell into the following categories:
- Workforce and workplace changes
- Career management is up to you
- Resumes and LinkedIn work together
- Enhancements to the recruiting process
- Job search has changed, but don’t overlook the basics
- Online visibility is imperative
- Expect more from interviews
Let me also invite you to follow these professionals online through their websites and/or social network sites.
Micro-teams Focused On Solutions
In 2017, we’ll start to see an end of the emphasis of “fit within company culture.” Instead, employers will stress the ability to work within mission-focused micro-teams.
These small teams, with an established short-term goal, will be built for the sole purpose of solving a specific problem or meeting an immediate challenge. So rather than concentrating on individual task-based strengths, hiring will focus exclusively on subject matter expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the mission. Emotional intelligence and the ability to focus on solutions, rather than worshiping the problem, will be in high demand.
Skilled Trades on the Rise
I see an uptick in skilled trades jobs. Building is booming in many parts of the country and new infrastructure investments may be coming from federal and state governments. These jobs offer great opportunities for those without a college degree, workers not interested in behind-the-desk jobs, and people of all backgrounds looking for steady work that pays well. There has been so much emphasis on college that traditional vocational programs have been diminished, so the need has been building for decades. Builders and small manufacturers say they can’t get good help. Some employers are willing to train, and union and trades apprentice programs offer other doorways to these opportunities.
As wages continue to stay flat, more people are relying on side gigs to earn more income. The gig economy is continuing to grow and I see this continuing into 2017 and beyond. Marketing yourself as a solution to a specific problem is the fastest way to grow your income. If you don’t feel like you have the skills to earn money on the side of your job, then it has also become easier than ever to take courses and read books in order to learn skills that can immediately earn you extra income.
Re-Training and Telecommuting/Remote Work
Most years, nothing happens that dramatically impacts job search, trends continue and others begin. This year might be different because a few major countries have/will have new leaders (UK, USA, France, etc.) and new leaders mean promises to fill. In the US in particular, Trump has made some very big promises with regards to jobs and the economy and if he moves quickly on some of them, it’s possible that many jobs will be created (or vice-versa!). While it’s more realistic to think that the impact will be felt a little further down the road, I can imagine more people than usual requiring retraining.
As for continuing trends, more people will continue the shift to telecommuting/remote work and freelancing, both part-time and full-time, which means the importance of personal branding and reputation management will continue to grow (even if both ideas were more hyped a few years ago).
Optimism and Caution
Hiring for baby boomers will continue to improve as the continued tight labor market will force employers to look to older workers to fill their needs.
The dreaded applicant tracking systems (ATS) will continue to vex job seekers.
The assimilation of LinkedIn into Microsoft will mean an acceleration of new features along with higher fees.
Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) will continue to disrupt a variety of professions including IT, sales, marketing, and HR. Particularly hard hit will be B2B direct sales teams as multi-channel marketing automation efforts will eliminate or shrink B2B sales groups.
Employ The New ABC’s of Career Management-Avoid Being Complacent
Embracing uncomfortability is another way to say avoid being complacent. We are in uncomfortable times. Those solely seeking comfort and maintaining the status quo in their career lives may find themselves blindsided when their company decides to insource, outsource, expand or contract, if they are on the wrong side of that corporate action. Proactively keep your network engaged. Help others reach their goals expecting nothing in return. Ensure your resume and LinkedIn profile are always passively selling your wins. Keep an active ear to what your industry, competitors and profession is doing to stay ahead of trends. Pretend you are fired today and always have your plan of action in motion and ready to take further action. The world belongs to those who embrace uncomfortability and avoid being complacent.
Learn and Practice “Intellectual Capitalism”
For 2017 and every year after, this is all you need to know.
The robots are coming and indeed, are already here. Google the phrase “robots taking jobs away from humans” and you will see article after article attesting to that fact. Such being the case, any and all job seekers should research their industry and discern how long it will be before automation makes their present day skills obsolete and in the interim, they should be learning new skills that are less vulnerable to the great robot takeover.
If you recognize the truth in what I’m saying, allow me to save you some time. Overall, blue collar workers in the automotive and textile industry who perform repetitive tasks, will be obliterated in the next few years. However, police officers, HVAC technicians, construction workers and plumbers will thrive because robots do not have common sense, don’t handle non-repetitive tasks well and have trouble with pattern recognition. (For example, they can see shapes, but do not always recognize what a cup is or a chair.)
White collar workers are not exempt from the robotic uprising either. I speculate that low-level accountants, bookkeepers, tellers and the like will be displaced in a big way. Try this game, Google “robot tellers” and be amazed by the results. For that matter, change the job title in your Google search from “tellers” to whatever it is you do. The results may surprise you.
For white collar workers to thrive in this new era, they should be intimately acquainted with the term “intellectual capitalism.” In a nutshell, its how you use things like imagination, leadership, problem-solving and other such intangibles to bring value to a company.
All of that to say, in 2017 and beyond, do not waste your time (or your money) pursuing a career that will be done by a robot. If you do, I predict with full confidence that in 2017 you will be left behind and every year afterward.
Resumes and LinkedIn Work Together
LinkedIn profiles and resumes will work more in tandem.
Savvy job seekers accept the fact that, unless they have a personal website, their LinkedIn profile is their digital home base. People who can help them meet their career goals will probably find them there, before they find these people and send them their resume.
LinkedIn profiles allow for much more content than resumes. Savvy job seekers will fully populate every applicable LinkedIn section, telling their whole personal brand and career story there. They will abbreviate the story on their resume, targeting it to a specific employer, or specific group of similar employers. To consolidate the resume Experience section, they will add a line at the end, referring readers to their LinkedIn profile, such as this – “Please see LinkedIn profile for details” – and they will add a hyperlink to their profile in that statement.
I predict resume strategies will continue to be framed around storytelling with a twist. While touching on culture will be imperative in 2017 resume development, it will be equally important to show that you care about an organization’s real needs – especially in the economic + social chaos we lately feel steeped in.
While job seekers aren’t fortune tellers, and it’s not always possible to foresee an employer’s / hiring manager’s specific needs, you CAN express HOW you intelligently and solidly hammered out bottom-line (measurable) solutions to burning needs at your current company in a way that will resonate with a future employer (where you leave them vigorously nodding, in the ‘been there, done that’ way).
In other words, 2017 resumes must have stories that leap off the page and grab the reader, emotionally + intellectually.
I believe we’re going to see more employers add mobile capabilities to their recruiting processes in 2017. Job seekers will want to understand how to search and apply for jobs using their mobile devices. So, dust off those outdated social profiles and start developing a routine to stay engaged.
While it is a candidate’s job market, there’s still competition for the best jobs and great places to work. Once you find the job of your dreams, make sure your resume is optimized for submission – focus on accomplishments that will make your resume stand out.
New Ways to Apply Online
In 2017 job seekers may come in contact with chatbots while applying or engaging with a company. Already in use at a few employers across the country, chatbots will allow you apply from your mobile phone with a just a few clicks. It may include having you video yourself or by syncing your social media accounts. With recent changes by Facebook, you will also be allowed to apply via company facebook page and chat with the recruiter through their messenger app.
There will be an increase in the use of behavioral assessments as one of the hiring factors employers will use to make good hiring decisions. Employers are more aware today of the need for candidates to fit well with the organization’s culture, the new hire’s work team, and in customer-contact roles, customers. Poor fit continues to be the top reason new hires fail.
Job seekers should not be surprised to have employers ask them to complete assessments in 2017. Historically, the use of behavioral assessments has increased each of the last two times the economy rebounded, so I’d expect the same thing to happen in 2017.
Technology Removes Unconscious Bias
The app to change the game is the Blendoor app. The founder of the app, Stephanie Lampkin, states this app will “directly combats the myth diversity hiring means lowering the bar” when it comes to hiring. Now in beta, the app presents an employer with an applicant profile without a photo or personally identifiable information. This initially removes “unconscious bias” from the hiring process and encourages merit to stand out from the beginning of the process.
The Human Touch
While automation tools including those of the AI variety will find their way into all aspects of recruiting and career advising, in 2017, I expect to see more human touches from the recruiting side (people are not passive, talent or human capital). I’d like to say that bad recruiting will decline but I’m just a prognosticator not a magician…
2017 will be interesting for the job seeker and employers. Recruiting is changing and the way candidates look for jobs and how employers find candidates will continue to evolve. LinkedIn’s dominance is coming to an end. Employers and Job Seekers will continue to become more savvy. Employers will know more about the candidates and will use different techniques to contact and to attract candidates.
The market will continue to be hot and even though Artificial Intelligence will be used, and social media will allow information to be readily available, both the employer and candidate will crave working with humans. The job seekers will want to work for organizations that have the unique culture that separates one company from the next and employment branding will continue to play an essential role in attracting those candidates.
Companies are going to have to be aggressive in their hiring, as job seekers will have there pick of which organization they chose to work with.
As candidates continue to check Glassdoor for reputations of organizations, employers will do their due diligence also and candidates will begin to realize being “less social” may be advantageous. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could prevent a candidate from getting hired.
Expect More Real Conversations
I joked several months ago that no matter who won the election, impeachment lawyers would be in demand. I also see a need for more fact checkers. As for serious predictions, I see a collision between two emerging trends: the need for employers to provide a better recruitment experience for job seekers versus the increase in systems approaches including the interest in artificial intelligence.
In 2017, it will continue to shift to a job seekers market, so employers need to personalize their outreach; have real conversations to avoid making assumptions based on an algorithm.
Mail Gets More Traction
I believe the most important trend will be getting offline and mailing (or handing) the resume and cover letter directly to the hiring manager. I think hiring managers/recruiter are overwhelmed with internet applications and if they receive a nice professional package in the mail, it will get more traction.
Recruiting In A Transparent World
Katrina Collier The Searchologist Twitter: @KatrinaMCollier
I teach HR & Recruiters how to find their new employees on the Internet, and I warn them that scrutiny is no longer one-way; it’s a Google world. Companies and recruiters need to share genuine insights into who they are and what they are doing if they are to standout in this noisy and candidate driven market.
In 2017, I see job seekers becoming even more aware that they can gain direct access to the companies they want to work for and I see those companies who open the virtual door having more success hiring.
According to the numerous HR executives I have spoken with, the election caused many companies to put hiring on hold until they knew who would be President. Organizations wanted clear direction on where the country was headed.
I predict that Jan- May 2017 the hiring opportunities will be very robust. Internal promotions will also see a big bump in numbers too. In other words – a perfect climate if you are a job hunter. Networking and tapping into the hidden job market will be more important than ever.
Apply Agile Ingenuity
The most important trend for job seekers is to have “agile ingenuity” when approaching today’s job market. You cannot stay rooted in anything you think you know about job search, interviewing or resume writing.
This is a game played on an invisible playing field that requires you to be resourceful, creative, and always on your toes. Expect to read and follow application instructions more closely, deeply customize resumes and communications, and move fluidly through a series of virtual, social media and in-person interviews. There is no second place in a job search, so take steps now to arm yourself to win.
Focus on Job Search Fundamentals
My biggest piece of candidate advice for 2017 is to make sure you’ve adapted to the changes that have already taken place in the jobs market. Companies today aren’t posting as many jobs online – but are filling more roles through direct approaches to candidates and through employee referrals.
When I talk to executive candidates, it’s shocking to uncover how many haven’t done a thorough job of writing a strong LinkedIn profile that’s keyword and skills optimized. Meaning they’ll never be found by the Recruiters looking to fill the exact roles they aspire to securing. Similarly, it’s shocking how many people aren’t proactively networking and building relationships in advance of needing them. Just think how many opportunities you could be being referred into as an ideal candidate, if only you’d done the work to foster relationships over the last years.
There are of course lots of new technologies that will continue to shake the jobs market up over the coming year, but addressing these fundamentals I believe is the single biggest thing candidates should be addressing in 2017.
Job Seekers Market
I believe 2017 will be a year of hope and wonderful new opportunities for those searching. A new year, unemployment at its lowest in many years, job seeker optimism is high and 69% of recruiters are reporting a hiring increase with 86% saying no foreseeable layoffs. It’s going to be a job seeker’s market (and choice) in 2017. **Stats from 2016 Jobvite Surveys.
Conduct Due Diligence
Job seekers must do the legwork to assess new trends in company research, resume branding, and interviewing (via Job-Hunt.org, Glassdoor.com, LinkedIn, US News & World Report, or other reputable resources). If you don’t conduct your due diligence and go into the search or interview unprepared, your competitors will blow you out of the water!
You’ll find, among other tips, that a touch of color helps showcase key skills on your resume, it’s a good idea to ask interviewers to define their ideal candidate, and your employer research should include annual reports, industry trends, and / or news from the firm’s website.
Clear Unique Value Proposition
Ed Han Twitter: @ed_han
The most important, at least to my way of thinking, is clearly lay out and articulate your unique value proposition. This has been true for several years and yet the vast majority of resumes I see utterly fail in this respect.
“So you’re a PM? Are you particularly adept at shepherding your projects to an on-budget and on-schedule completion?”
Master Job Search Basics
For job seekers, I don’t think 2017 is going to be too different. Recruiting continues to shift towards the digital space, but before creating a new user profile on that fancy new job seeker website or abandoning the advice of traditionalists, keep this in mind: the basics remain the same. Research and prepare, seek internal and external guidance (mentorship.) Build out leadership skills through experience and make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete. Continue to connect and engage with recruiters, hiring managers, business contacts and colleagues in a professional setting via LinkedIn. In 2017, you can almost guarantee that part of the process will include a video interview.
Build out your leadership skills with experiences outside of the classroom. Volunteer. Join a group on campus or in your community that provides you with an opportunity to work on something you’re passionate about (like empowering people, giving back.)
Want to go an extra step? Take a new course via LinkedIn Learning or site like Coursera or Udemy to learn a new skill or build on one of your already established strengths. Never stop learning!
Clear and Appropriate Online Visibility
Employers and recruiters relentlessly search to find qualified candidates and also to vet job applicants. So, in 2017, job seekers with clear and appropriate online visibility, demonstrating their professional qualifications, will have their next jobs find them. In 2017, the most important job search/career requirements and skills for job seekers will be:
- a clear and coherent personal brand
- personal online reputation management supporting that brand
- personal SEO supporting that brand
Without those 3 essential elements, people will be invisible. But, this means that they must be MUCH more careful about what they share, where they share, and how they share information, ideas, and opinions. What they make visible will be judged and will impact their careers as well as their job searches.
LinkedIn is essential for most professionals, but I think that Facebook will grow in importance as more employers leverage it to post their jobs. Unfortunately, Facebook is the network which is most personal and also the least professional and trustworthy. Microsoft’s ownership of LinkedIn may generate some interesting developments there, too, though.
Demonstrate Soft Skills Through Social Media
Social media continues to play a big role in recruitment; LinkedIn’s U.S. Recruiting Trends says 44% of employers believe “social professional networks” are top sources of hire.
Job seekers should create detailed online profiles to attract and impress hiring managers. Don’t underestimate how important it is to engage in online groups to extend your network and connect with potential opportunities.
Jobs in technology will continue to be in high demand, but trends suggest employers appreciate candidates who have strong “soft skills,” including problem solving, team leadership and the ability to communicate effectively. Use social media tools to feature and highlight these skills to distinguish yourself from others who may have a similar background to you.
Rise In Online Website Platforms
The career industry is ripe for technology to begin to drive efficiencies and real change in the job search/hiring process. As more people understand the need to manage their online presence, they will begin to seek out the quickest and easiest method to get their online house in order.
This awareness will cause a rise in the number of online website platforms specifically designed to help people put their personal and career brands online. These new platforms will provide users with a way to tell their career story like never before and will finally begin to challenge the resume as the sole method for conveying value during the job search process.
New Forms of Candidate Evaluation
Watch for employers to start using candidate evaluation techniques other than interviews. While research has shown that assessment centers and behavior-based interviews provide the best results, they’re expensive and time-consuming for employers to use.
Thus, employers are looking for quicker, cheaper fixes and there’s a small army of organizational psychologists and software developers trying to devise fast, low-cost alternatives.
Many/most of these methods will fail the legal requirement that they predict job performance. However, that won’t stop companies from offering them and employers from using them.
Video Screening To Replace Phone Screen
Ace the Video Interview
- Practice – ahead of time to get comfortable with this format
- Test equipment – prior to interview to work out any kinks
- Dress professionally
- Remove distractions – other apps, phone and environment
- Good nonverbals – Make eye contact, look at camera, not yourself, smile, use some hand gestures
- Conversational style – just like in person
- Use notes – unlike in interview, you can use notes, but avoid looking at them too much
- Take a second – nod when responding to questions from interviewer and wait a second before answering to avoid talking over interviewer
Soft Skills/EQ – Hiring managers want to see examples of how you work effectively with colleagues and clients.
- Work ethic
- Positive attitude
- Work well under pressure
- Good communication skills
If your soft skills aren’t up to par with your professional skills, invest in training or coaching to develop them. Otherwise, your limiting your career options.
In 2017, one of the biggest trends that will help job seekers is a continued increase in transparency. In recent years, career websites have been releasing more information that helps to give job seekers the upper hand when interviewing, including company ranking, sample interview questions, and average salary.
To learn if you are being paid fairly in your current job, check out the new Glassdoor.com Know Your Worth tool. You’ll be asked to provide your employer name, employer location, job title, number of years experience, salary, education level, university, and major. Glassdoor will provide information about your market value in your city.