The reality is that looking for a new job can be a real headache. Currently, over a ¼ of job seekers take 4 or more months to find a new job and if you are a senior executive, or director, it can take up to 12-months.
There are multiple reasons why this is occurring, but one reason, is the worldwide shift in the way employers hire, which is now driven by data, new technology, increasing demands for exact matches by employers and digital obstacles.
Job seekers are largely unaware of the massive shift in technology and how it is impacting on their job search.
As a job seeker you are now data
During a job search, your data is collected at multiple points, including:
- Resume / CV (Applicant Tracking Systems and other Recruitment databases).
- LinkedIn Profile (Online Searches by Employers and Recruiters with data sold to 3rd parties).
- Any other online profiles, such as SEEK profiles (your data is sold to 3rd parties)
- Your Digital Foot Print (ALL social media and reference to you online, along with your search history is data about you that is collected to determine whether you are suitable or not).
- Credit Rating History (background checks undertaken by employers).
- Employment Tests undertaken by potential Employer (Cognitive ability tests, personality tests, integrity test, situational judgment tests and job samples).
- Any video interviews recorded (robots analyse your responses for candidate shortlists)
Whether this data on you is correct or not, is irrelevant. Whether you think this invades your privacy or not is irrelevant. It is the new reality.
Once you become aware that a good portion of your job search success comes down to the quality of your data, you can take steps to improve your opportunities.
SEO and LinkedIn
Understand basic search engine optimisation (SEO), so that your LinkedIn profile contains the right key words (data) – so recruiters can find you (up to 49% of searches on LinkedIn are keyword related searches).
SEO is a complex and highly technical field, but one step you can take is before you work on a LinkedIn profile, you need to undertake some research to determine the right key words (data). Once you have this key word list, the key words can be utilised across your LinkedIn profile, so employers and recruiters can find you more easily, through key word matching.
LinkedIn is just one great big database. If your LinkedIn profile is not optimised with the right data, for the purposes of LinkedIn, you don’t exist.
Search for your name online and see if there is any digital dirt (e.g. unfavourable comments, articles, tweets, FB posts). If there is digital dirt, clean it up, such as removing the tweet, or FB post(s).
Did you know something as small as complaining about the late arrival of a pizza via a tweet, could put you out of the running for a job? Having personally consulted with major recruiters including from Google, I know first hand that this happens.
So clean this all up, in particular your social media profiles. The bulk of employers will be checking this online data out.
Applicant Tracking Systems
All major organisations use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). It has been estimated the ATS kills 75% of candidate’s chances of securing an interview as soon as they submit a resume, even if the applicant is qualified for the job.
Basically ATS uses data contained within your resume to determine whether you make the shortlist. Employers use them, as the tracking systems contained in these systems saves literally hundreds of hours during the recruitment process.
So in order to ensure that you pass through these systems and not kill your job search:
- Send your resume in as a word document, not PDF, (although many ATS systems can and do accept PDF files, not all do and you don’t know which system the organisation is using).
- DON’T use the fancy resume templates, which have columns, use tables or images and graphics. Most of the resume templates that you find online (paid or free), or are used by the cheap resume writing services, don’t pass muster.
- Don’t start your work experience with dates.
- Include keywords in your resume that match the specific job application. However DON’T ‘stuff’ your resume with keywords, as resume parsers are know smart enough to understand the context in which the keywords and phrases are being used. That is the keywords should be used in the context of explaining the job and talking about your achievements.
Data is now king and while not an entertaining subject; it is now one of the most important topics you need to understand in regards to your job search!