The Internet has changed both the way we search for jobs and how employers search for potential candidates. 20-30 years ago, after people graduated from high school or university, most people would head straight towards newspapers or an employment agency for work. In 1976, 52% of unemployed people used an employment agency. In 2006, that proportion had fallen to 17.2%.
Today, those functions have been replaced by the Internet. 20-30 years ago, using the internet was not a realistic option. But now, the Internet has made it a lot easier to reach and communicate with people. If you wanted to find information on a company, you would have to search through archives or look through old newspaper or magazine articles. Now, you can just type in whatever company you’re interested in and then find the history, key people, and awards that a company has won. The internet has also made it easier for companies to advertise job postings online because it reaches a variety of people. However, the internet has also made it harder for people to make a strong impression, since the application process is much more impersonal and much more selective.
Today, employers are looking for candidates with both a specific and technical skill set. It’s extremely important to have a variety of computer skills and be familiar with specific programs. Before, the job market didn’t require people to have such specialized skills. Jobs used to be concentrated in the manufacturing-industrial production. The jobs were much easier and didn’t need a lot of education to do those jobs. Jobs in manufacturing are now being phased out since they are either being relocated overseas or being replaced by machinery. The shift in the job market is now headed towards the service sector, where work is now done on a smaller scale, requires greater flexibility, and is focused on technical skill. As a result, more people are attending post-secondary school in order to meet this new demand in work.
During the screening process, employers look at a candidate’s social proof and the number of people who endorse them. The more connections a person has, the stronger their portfolio is, and how many people recommend them for a job, makes them a strong candidate. With the economy, hiring managers are less likely to take chances on people and don’t want to give a job to the wrong person. In addition, changes in the job market make employers search for a candidate that suits their needs, not the other way around. So it’s important to format your resume and cover letter to show employers how you can benefit the company and what you can contribute.
Although some employers do accept paper resumes, most employers prefer to receive them online and don’t want to waste paper. It’s important to format your resume and cover letter for the computer so it can be read easily. A tip is to save them in a PDF format.
Using social networking also helps hiring managers look at how strong your online branding is. With google, people only look at the top half of the first page. Anything past that, gets disregarded. Plus, recruiters also look at how consistent your online reputation and brand is. Any inconsistencies with your image will prevent you from passing an employer’s screening process.