Recent research indicates that there is now no such thing as a passive candidate. The vast majority of workers are open to new opportunities or actively searching for a new role. The rise of social media and smartphones has meant that it is much simpler for recruiters to find those looking to switch jobs. What does this mean for the regular jobseeker?
When I graduated and began seeking work my first ports of call were job boards and newspaper adverts (I’m showing my age here). I spent a great deal of time tailoring my CV in Word to upload to job boards or email to employers (bet you thought I was going to say post, I’m not that old) or completing lengthy online application forms. Being fairly well qualified (if I do say so myself), I believe I got a higher response rate than average, something like 20% of my applications resulted in invitations to interview or calls from recruitment agencies.
Some of the interviews I attended were assessment days including group activities and psychometric testing and some were straight interviews with either a single person or panel, but the overriding theme was that whilst my qualifications got me to that initial stage, to progress or be hired I had to demonstrate something more than could be gleaned from my CV – cultural fit, experience, problem-solving skills, etc. – all things that workers will find it easier to demonstrate than a jobseeker.
After the first few dealings with recruitment consultants I became quite cynical about the way they operated. I normally received a call after responding to a (with hindsight) generic advert on a job board only to be told that the role I had applied for had gone, but that having seen my CV there were several other roles for which I would be suitable. Then I would be persuaded to attend several interviews for positions I was either not interested in or for which I did not have the necessary experience. A candidate who is looking to switch jobs has the luxury of being able to turn down interviews for roles he has no interest in, and is more likely to be employed for a position than a jobseeker where experience is taken into account.
So what is my advice to jobseekers competing in the current economic climate against job-hoppers?
- Recruiters see hundreds of resumes every day so make yours memorable – use video, photos, samples of your work or any certificates you hold
- Emphasise transferable skills as they may not be apparent without relevant experience – put these in a separate section on your resume clearly defining your “Key Skills”
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and kept up-to-date and only posts and photos that you would be happy for potential employers to see are visible on your Facebook page
- Be proactive! Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn, like pages of companies you want to work for on Facebook and follow recruiters and jobs feeds on Twitter