5 Job Hunting Trends and Tips for 2022
The events of 2021 have ensured that the job market has changed more in a year than in virtually any other 12-month period in living memory. Moreover, a global pandemic, the rise in cybersecurity concerns, increased automation, and various other factors mean that a successful application today might not be the same as one even a couple of years ago.
The jobs themselves are different, and recruiters aren’t necessarily looking today for the same as they might have been before. So stay on top of their latest demands and ensure the best chance of jobhunting success with these top five trends and tips!
There was a significant push for increased remote work even before COVID-19 as people focused more on their work-life balance. It hasn’t been an unmitigated success – some people struggled to adapt to doing their jobs outside a familiar environment. However, a switch to more remote work was accelerated by global health requirements, and it’s unlikely to ever return to how it was before. Indeed, some companies believe that almost half of their workforce will remain remote, even as the job market returns to relative normalcy.
This means a greater scope of jobs to apply to but also means heightened competition. No longer are enticing jobs limited by the distance of the commute. Employment that’s well suited to remote work means competition nationwide and, depending on company policies, potentially even globally. There’s never been a wider talent pool from which to choose, so getting the application right is more critical than ever.
Most recruiters see the time spent sifting through dozens of applications as the most time-consuming and challenging aspect of the process. Technology has a habit of solving problems, and this part is no different. As a result, many now automate that part of the process rather than manually checking applications for keywords and qualifications. In turn, that leaves them with a pre-qualified candidate list.
Of course, automation isn’t perfect. Anyone with an unusual skill or experience that might make them ideal for a role could miss out if the sorting software isn’t equipped to interpret their abilities. In effect, this means that some parts of each application are written for machines, not humans. That entails following correct formats and making applications as relevant as possible to each role. Cover letter templates can help enormously, and it’s never been more critical to include a selection of relevant hard and soft skills to ensure an application isn’t overlooked.
Employers have never been more aware of the requirement for a diverse, balanced workforce. In turn, this means that people of all backgrounds have opportunities that may previously have been unavailable. The movement towards focusing on skills and experience, regardless of other factors, has been building for several years. However, 2021 may have been the year in which it finally entered the mainstream.
In practice, this means that nobody qualified for a role is disadvantaged compared to other candidates. Employers are working harder to present opportunities at a broader scale, especially in conjunction with the rise in remote work. For those seeking employment, it’s often best to add opinions and insight into diversity and inclusion into the potential questions to ask or answer at interviews to further demonstrate their goals align with those of their employer.
Even though applications have primarily taken place online for several years, 2021 was the year in which everyone was expected to become truly digital. In many cases, the first in-person encounter with recruiters would occur online. That means understanding Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms. Even if the interview is in person, most modern onboarding processes take place virtually. That means a working camera and microphone and a neutral space with nothing too controversial in the background!
More roles than ever before require employees to have a specific basic skillset in digital marketing tools. Much as basic Microsoft Office experience has been mandatory for office roles; employees are now expected to understand how and when they can contribute to a brand’s social media. Many businesses are also interested in how their teams conduct themselves online – and a statement in your social profiles stating that your views are your own probably won’t cut it.
Employers have been looking up potential candidates on social media for as long as those accounts have existed. The infamous – and incorrect – myth that it’s illegal to make hiring decisions based on social media has been forgotten. Fortunately, it’s an opportunity for diligent employees to showcase a rounded personality.
Once again, employers love to hire people with goals that align with their own, and social media is an opportunity to add to the limited space available on a resume. Someone that talks about their volunteering efforts, interests, and passions on social media might even find themselves edging closer to the job they want because they seem like a better fit in a more casual setting than through their professional experience!
Employers expect to see you on LinkedIn. They want to like what they see on Twitter. You don’t need a personal logo or a website, but a clean social presence that enhances your professional experience, alongside basics such as a professional email address, can make all the difference.
The nature of work continues to change, and the roles themselves are heading firmly towards automation and data. The best way to get the job of your dreams today isn’t necessarily the same as it was even five years ago, and keeping on top of the latest trends is a great way to stand out.
Above anything else, remember that employees are expected to be more independent than ever before, especially in remote roles. Getting the most competitive positions involves impressing hiring managers and the machines that support them. So embrace technology, and understand its application in the process, and you’ll stand a better chance than ever before of landing the perfect job.
About the Author
Alex is a freelance writer and researcher who has been covering the Education/HR space for the past 5 years. His work appears in publications and blogs all over the internet. When he is not researching for an upcoming project or working on a first draft, you can find him doing yoga, or reading in a quiet corner of the park.