Methods of applying for a job that were once standard are outdated today. It’s no longer enough to simply attach a cover letter to your resumé and drop it off at a business. These days, there are many other things job seekers must take into consideration when performing a job search, such as their online reputations and the ways Artificial Intelligence (AI) both facilitates and complicates job searches.
Switching jobs has become even more pronounced following the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent report by consulting firm McKinsey & Company, existing trends in remote work, automation, and e-commerce have accelerated due to enforced social distancing. Some 25% more workers than previously estimated are likely to have to switch occupations as a consequence.
This makes understanding the job market today even more important. There is no foreseeable end to the pandemic, and the workforce is becoming more flexible as it adjusts to this new normal. It’s important for job seekers to understand that the job market will probably never be as stable again as it may have seemed in generations past.
If you’re a job seeker, you must take these factors into account when plotting your career path as much as the employment field itself, all with the understanding that it may not be your only career.
Bouncing Back, But Moving Forward?
Today, employment is on the rise again in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment situation is steadily improving following many months of layoffs and uncertainty due to COVID-19 and the reluctance of some workers to return to the office as lockdowns subsided.
Figures released in early August 2021 showed a decline in the national unemployment rate of 0.5% to 5.4% and a rise in employment of 943,000 people for July 2021. For all the talk of jobs disappearing, there are new types of jobs constantly emerging. In New York City, 330,800 new private-sector jobs were created between June 2020 and June 2021.
The economy is bouncing back, even as many new job seekers may still be searching for a path forward. With things up and running again, it’s crucial for job seekers to understand the job market they are reentering and how it looks different than before.
Joining the Agile Workforce
Also, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American of the baby boomer generation is expected to have switched jobs some 12 times on average in the course of a career. That figure can only be expected to increase for millennials, and Gen-Z’ers, who by and large are more adept when it comes to using technology. They also tend to value versatility and are eager to gain knowledge in differing roles and fields of work.
Companies also increasingly seek a more agile workforce, able to retool and reboot according to the latest technological developments while taking on new responsibilities without thinking twice. This has consequences for everyone, as the benefits of experience may not be as clear to potential employers. Education levels may hold less weight than they did previously during the hiring process.
This also means career paths may not be as linear in the future as they have been in the past, and you may suddenly find yourself in a job that you have little formal training for but for which you possess the right skill set. Developing transferable skills that are valuable across time and multiple sectors, such as problem-solving, critical reasoning, and strong communication, is sound career advice, but so is continually developing current skill sets that align with today’s market demands.
This becomes especially important to demonstrate when AI links employers to job seekers, possibly without them even realizing it. Your online presence defines your persona and suitability as a candidate for a role. It’s the first impression potential employers will have of you. If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile to account for new skills you have learned or tools you have learned to use, you could find yourself out of the running before you even send out your application package.
The speed at which the job market moves may seem bewildering, but moving with it will help to get you the best opportunities. The positive side to having to be on your feet is that employers won’t expect you to have a lifetime of experience in their sector to do a good job. They are more likely to want to see how well you adapt to constantly changing circumstances.
What You Can Do
As work opportunities become increasingly remote, you may find yourself competing with what seems like a million people globally for a job instead of a few hundred locally. Large numbers like that can seem frightening or overwhelming, but they are also part of the job market reality today.
The solution is to remain fundamentally honest about who you are and what you’re capable of, all the while contributing to and updating your skill set visibly. Employers quickly see through resumés and profiles that are too good to be true or which are assembled hastily for a job application – and in this sense, they know the value of deep experience, especially in today’s turbulent market.
When you’re trying to find a new job, it’s a good idea to demonstrate to employers that you have the specific job they are offering in mind and are equipped with the skills to do it well. Also, communicate that you see the potential for personal growth in the role in the broader context of the job market. This will help you focus on the attributes you bring to the table and hone in on what sets you apart from the competition.
The benefit of doing this during the application process is that it gives you a valuable tool during the interview. Understanding the potential job and how it relates to the broader job market will show an employer that you can grow on the job and may be a valuable long-term hire.
Ultimately, your best bet is to combine solid and real experience with an agile mindset. At jobsfuel.com, your next job is a simple search away. By matching job seekers with recruiters and advertising positions in locations directly relevant to you, we enable your job search to be targeted to your niche while providing an even larger job market to choose from.
Understanding Your Options in the Current Job Market
Using a service like JobsFuel can help you expand your ideas about the current job market in your sector and beyond. A search platform can suggest opportunities that are not only in line with your current experience and skill set but may also inspire you to go even further.
JobsFuel optimizes your search process to bring you hundreds of new job opportunities and allows you to market yourself with your digital materials to stand out in the current job market in a way that hiring managers won’t be able to overlook.