Each new year might as well come with a big floppy bow, because it’s the gift of a fresh start, bursting with potential and possibilities. We believe that, as Sheryl Crow sang, a change would do you good. Here are six job-search trends for 2016 that will usher in new opportunities, providing you’re prepared to embrace these changes:
- Video interviewing: It’s always been expensive to provide travel and lodging for job candidates from out of town; sometimes it’s even an insurmountable hurdle. But as video technology becomes more accessible and familiar, interviews via video will be a growing job-search trend in 2016, broadening horizons beyond specific regions. The interaction between participants in a video interview is a little different than that of traditional interviews; if you want to practice, give Merrfeld a shout.
- Emphasis on skills: The average career trajectory continues to change—fewer people than ever climb a traditional employment ladder. This makes a job title much less relevant; instead, an emphasis on skills will continue to be a job-search trend in 2016. If you haven’t already, create a skills-based resume that lets your achievements paint the best picture of what you can offer a company.
- Social media as part of search: Hopefully, you’re already aware of the need for clean (non-embarrassing) social media profiles, because potential employers are looking at yours. But increasingly, social media will be a part of the search for a job or a candidate, with LinkedIn leading the way. Traditional venues for posting openings may still survive, but the most comprehensive outlets exist online.
- Opportunities at professional events: Just as social media is an increasingly important venue for a job search, so are real-world professional events. Taking part in collaborative pop-up groups is easier than ever, now that social media allows for invitations and information sharing across industries. Formal membership is often unnecessary, meaning you can jump in and make connections and contributions. There’s no need to sit at home!
- Informal interviews: Before you start celebrating about this particular job-search trend for 2016, consider that less formal interviews may lead to social confusion. If you’re meeting a potential employer for coffee and you arrive first, do you go ahead and get a cup, or do you wait until they arrive? What do you wear? Look for a discussion of how to follow the rules when there aren’t any in a future Merrfeld blog post.
- Freelancing: The rising cost of health care premiums, the demand for work-life balance, teleconferencing and online collaboration create the perfect storm for a freelance economy. Freelancing and entrepreneurship are strong job-search trends for 2016. Have you considered these as career paths? If self-employment isn’t your goal, could it serve as a temporary source of income, skill growth and networking?
Welcome 2016 with open arms and an open mind. The new year will bring change that could mean good—even great—occasions for a new or better career!