Man working on his computer and writing a note in 2018.

To remain competitive in the modern job market, you have to update your tactics over time. New technologies,  unemployment, and many other factors can change how companies hire. If you’re not aware of these trends and don’t respond to them, you may be drastically decreasing your chances of getting hired. Today we’ll break down three things you should do to conduct a successful job search in 2018.

1. Optimize Your Resume for Digital Submission

One of the most impactful changes in hiring has been the widespread implementation of resume scanning software. Although they were around well before 2018, more companies are now using software that scans and processes the resumes submitted to their jobs. The goal of these systems is to filter out resumes that aren’t qualified and also save recruiters time. Online postings receive 100s of resumes, so this is an effort to make that size manageable. However, it can unfortunately mean that your resume gets filtered out if you don’t format it correctly.

So, how can you make your resume friendly with this software? Keywords and formatting are crucial. Most of those systems target keywords on resumes and filter out ones that don’t have them present. So look at the job description, and try to pick out which words are the most integral to the job. For instance, is there a specific software or certification required? If so, list it on your resume if you have it. Also, make sure you format your resume in a normal way. Use bullet points, put subtitles and titles in bold or italics, and keep formatting consistent throughout. If you want a more thorough breakdown of how to format, check out this blog post.

2. Utilize Your Network

You may not be aware, but in 2018 referrals are responsible for 35% of all new hires. And that’s not a fluke, there’s a reason so many hires come from existing employee referrals. Generally, referred candidates are higher quality. Employees won’t typically refer someone they believe would be a bad fit for the role. Also, referred candidates have an interest in the role beyond their own personal reasons, they want to do right by their referrer. So if you’re not using your network to find a job, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

Obviously, you have to figure out how you can get referred. First, you have to have a built out and well-connected network. You can’t get referred without having anyone to refer you! So if you haven’t already set up a LinkedIn page and started to connect with people, do it! Once you have those connections, let your network know that you are beginning to look for the next step in your career. If you’re currently employed, make sure you only tell those you trust! If you’re not worried about it being public, you may want to consider making a post on social media about it, to get the most possible exposure.

3. Monitor Your Online Presence

Speaking of social media, you should make sure you’re aware of your presence online! Hiring managers and recruiters are using every tool available to them to vet candidates, and that includes social media. If you have social media profiles, and you’ve been looking for a job, it’s almost guaranteed that a recruiter has seen them. It’s another quick and easy way to remove candidates from the pool without having to go through an interview.

With that in mind, you should make sure your social media profiles paint you in a positive light. Anything controversial, inappropriate, or otherwise unprofessional should be removed or hidden. It’s a lot easier to be smart in the first place with what you upload, but if you have to go back through all of your old posts, it’s worth spending the time. Recruiters don’t just check social media, they also may Google your name to see what they can find out, and you might want to do the same. Find out how you look online and do your best to make it a positive reflection of who you are.

There are many different factors affecting the job market. New initiatives, theories for hiring, and technologies will all continue to cause the hiring process to change and evolve. As a candidate, staying up to date on the latest trends will help you remain competitive and stay ahead of the curve. We hope you found this blog informative and found something you could use to improve your job search tactics. Best of luck with your 2018 job serach!