Job search trends to look out for in 2018
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; the world is constantly changing and evolving, and this will also be reflected in the recruitment trends we’ll see in 2018.
Recruitment will become even more technology-driven thanks to the increased use of mobile devices and social media during both the initial job application stage and the wider hiring process. AI (Artificial Intelligence) will also become more involved, with new systems scanning applications and the answers to interview questions to determine if a candidate is the right fit for a role or company.
The new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) may also have an effect on how hiring managers and recruiters vet candidates for jobs, and it will give job seekers more control over how their personal information (such as CVs) are retained and used.
From embracing shorter cover letters and CVs, to preparing yourself to be interviewed by an AI system before you even make contact with a human hiring manager, here are the main hiring and job search trends for candidates to look out for in 2018…
Keep your job application short and sweet
When you apply for an amazing sounding job that seems like it could be the perfect fit for you, it can be tempting to cram as much information as possible into the cover letter in a bid to wow the recruiter or hiring manager. However, this may cause more harm than good to your application, which is why a key recruitment trend we’ll be seeing in 2018 will be a preference for shorter and shorter cover letters.
Damon Nailor, life coach and consultant says to “effectively articulate your strengths and skills and always inform any company/organisation that you are a team player who can bring incredible value.”
This trend is partly because recruiters receive a lot of applications for each job role, and it can be very time-consuming to read 5 or 6 pages of repetitive information that could have been summed up in 2 or 3 paragraphs. With so many applications to go through, you don’t want them to lose interest before they reach the end of your cover letter, and simply put your application to one side before they reach your actual CV.
When it comes to the length of your CV, the same rule applies; feature only the most relevant aspects of your skills and experience, and ensure that it isn’t so long that the hiring manager loses interest and moves onto the next application before they finish reading yours. As a general rule, CVs should be two pages long, though three pages is perfectly fine if you’re applying for a managerial role. Just remember that however long you CV is, it needs to factual, as concise as possible, and tailored to each and every role you apply for.
Job hunting is getting harder in 2018 – due to many recruitment trends such as online testing, computer screening of resumes etc. Joanna Wells from taylorwells.com.au suggests tailoring your resume to reflect the key terms and phrases used in the specific job advert you are replying to. “It is important to get through the first stage – so use the language that the company advertising uses”. Another key point is to be ready for online testing – set aside enough time for it and make sure you know exactly what it will involve. Joanna says “many times great candidates have let themselves down by not being prepared for the testing”.
Be professional on social media
As of now, there are around 3 million active job listings on LinkedIn. Additionally, according to statistics from 2015, 40% of LinkedIn users use the mobile app to find job vacancies. This trend can be theorised to be why competition social media network, Facebook, has introduced their own “Jobs” function, and highly suggests that social media will become an integral aspect of recruitment.
It’s a well-known fact that recruiters already use LinkedIn to find suitable candidates for roles; in fact, in 2014, 48% said that they only use the platform for social outreach, and LinkedIn has accommodated for this by introducing a new feature that enables users to let recruiters know that they’re looking for a new role. Although you should have always been ensuring that your LinkedIn profile highlights your key skills and experience and that you regularly share content, it’s now more important than ever that your social media profiles are up to scratch if you’re applying for a job through that platform!
Remember, LinkedIn presents a great opportunity for you to ‘connect’ with the companies and people you want to work with, so make sure your presence on the platform leaves the right first impression.
Katea Gidley, Managing Director of Raw Talent, a consulting group focused on graduate employability believes; “A well written LinkedIn profile, reflective of a candidate’s resume and informative of an individual’s career experience and achievements is mandatory. Recruiters are using LinkedIn profiles as the source of truth over resumes.”
However, it isn’t just LinkedIn that you need to keep up to scratch; your more ‘personal’ social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, should also be kept as respectful and professional as possible; it’s no secret that hiring managers often check these.
Because of the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) coming into effect in 2018, employers and recruiters may no longer be able to review candidates’ social media profiles before as part of the hiring process. Nonetheless, the new legislation won’t come into effect until May (and it’s still unclear of whether this will be enforced), so you should err on the side of caution, and remove anything from your social media profiles that you wouldn’t want a potential new boss to see.
Be prepared to be reviewed by Artificial Intelligence
Another key job search and recruitment trend in 2018 will be the increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the hiring process, which is something you’ll need to be prepared for as a candidate. As Business Insider explains, Unilever is already testing AI by using it to screen candidates for entry-level positions. Candidates are required to play a number of neuroscience-based games and answer questions, so that the system can analyse their keywords, intonation and body language to assess their suitability for the role and wider company. This, Unilever says, has enabled them to “most diverse class to date”.
As using AI to select candidates removes unconscious bias (and frees up time for hiring managers), we predict that more and more companies will adopt similar systems as part of their hiring process. Thus, we’d recommend becoming more aware of the keywords and body language you use in meetings and interviews as AI systems have been specially programmed to pick-up on these. It may seem like a small thing, but it could mean all the difference between reaching the interview stage or being unsuccessful.
Additionally, with more and more machines scanning cover letters and CVs before they’re seen by the eyes of a human hiring manager, you should review your CV for 2018 and ensure it has no typos. This not only shows a lack of detail and attention (as there are various programmes available that will check this for you for free), but an AI system could also be confused by misspelled words when scanning CVs.
Sandy Hutchison, Founder of Career Money Life points out; “Applicant tracking systems to scan and select relevant applicants. which means even qualified candidates that don’t have the right search terms in their CV won’t be found.”
Bare this firmly in mind, and use a programme to check your documents, or ask someone you trust to cast an eye over it for you!