Job Search 2013: What we’ve learned, and what’s to come

January 11th, 2013

Three key points to take away from 2012

The job market is vastly different than it was just a few short years ago, as social media sites gain clout and cell phone technology surpasses any predictions. Three distinct trends have emerged from 2012, all vital to the modern job seeker.

Photos

On every site where you have an Internet presence, it needs to be accompanied by a professional photo. It’s best to have a series of photos taken, so you can use different snapshots for your social profiles, author bios, and blog posts. A photo gives you credibility: even if the person viewing it has no connection to you, they are more likely to click on the profile or believe the article when there is a face to associate with the name. While you may be hesitant about splashing yourself across the web, recognize that this has taken the place of an interview as the initial visual contact between you and a potential employer. If there’s nothing there, you lose a valuable chance to connect face-to-face, even if it’s only one-sided.

Recommendations

As the Internet shrinks the world, connections become increasingly important. This is reflected in the hiring process: instead of the traditional process of calling references, employers are casting a wider net of a potential hire’s companions. Through the “recommend” feature on LinkedIn and similar options on other social networking sites, coworkers and friends can vouch for you—and potential employers take notice. No longer is it enough to list three contacts and their phone numbers; with hundreds of friends and interactions visible to companies, all data involving you factors into a hiring decision. This can seem daunting at first—but when you leverage it right, you can boost your standing through other people’s words, which is automatically considered more reliable than self-promotion.

Branding

When you add professional pictures to online interactions, you’re well on your way to achieving the final, most comprehensive step toward an effective self-presentation. Building your identity into a virtual brand ensures you have the recognizability and legitimacy to be a viable candidate for a position. Stay active on social networks, write guest posts for blogs in your field, keep an up-to-date YouTube channel—a few years ago, these would have been considered leisurely activities, but as the line between work and life blurs, they now factor into your professional persona. By spreading your name through your field, and integrating it with your picture and profiles, you’ll market yourself better than an application or resume ever could. You’ll build an identity, one that employers will see and value.

What to expect in 2013

The job market is becoming even more specialized, and potential hires will have to stay on their game if they want to be top contenders for desirable positions. Certifications and niche degrees will become more important, as is any specialization within your area of expertise. Those doing the hiring are beginning to rely more on analyzable data to target their ideal candidate; by the end of 2013, there is sure to be a new list of requirements to land your dream position.

We’re here to help

Helpmates Staffing can help you hone your job search and place you in the career you’ve always wanted. We’ve worked with top employers throughout Southern California for more than 40 years, and we have access to unique career opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else. Contact Helpmates for Southern California Jobs that fit your skill set!

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