The Honest Truth About the Job Market

Today’s job market is a diverse and complex creature. Having spent the past 15 years working with job seekers and recruiters, I have seen a massive shift in the way we look for work and fill positions. There are now a myriad of ways that people get jobs (or don’t get them). Many times, job seekers don’t understand the intricacies of the hiring process or the trends that shape the way companies hire.

So I wanted to shed some light on various truths I’ve learned over the years that no one is really talking about. Whether you are currently in a job search or about to start one, these are a must read. One or all of them could be a factor in you getting that job.

1. People don’t know how to job hunt. No one teaches us how to effectively search for work. Its not taught in schools, its not passed on from generation to generation. People mostly rely on word of mouth to figure out what to do. That worked ok when the job search was mostly about picking up the sunday classifieds and submitting a resume. But today’s job search is much more complex and time consuming than ever before. Now you need to master a variety of skills including but not limited to;

  • which job boards to use
  • how to write your resume
  • interviewing techniques
  • social media profiles
  • email etiquette
  • ‘digital dirt’ (googling your name)
  • networking
  • personal branding

Shall I go on? I feel for those who haven’t had to search for a job in the last 5 or 10 years. They have many tactics and tools to catch up on.

2. Recruiters are time strapped. Most of you don’t realize how busy today’s recruiting and Human Resource people are. Their departments have been cut to the bone and they’re doing the work of 2-3 people. No wonder why they don’t get back to you! The hiring process can be a long and tedious cycle of frustration for many job seekers. Vacations, office politics, bad recruiting technology all play a part in why you “haven’t heard back”. This isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

3. Employers are looking for an exact DNA match. Thats what a recruiter told me once about what companies want in a candidate. I’ve heard too many stories from recruiters about a hiring manager that wants X number of years in a certain skill but in reality that candidate doesn’t exist. The point is that many companies hold out hope that they’ll find the perfect candidate because its still a buyers market. I wish more of them had sense to train for any lacking skills but most times this is not the case. Even if you have 85% of what they’re looking for, that may not be enough.

4. All jobs are temporary. The number of jobs the average person will hold in a lifetime goes up each year. If you look at that from a big picture standpoint, you realize that each job is temporary. Therefore if you want to be in demand you need to always be learning. You must constantly strive to improve your skills and experience or risk being left behind.

In the end, only you are responsible for your career. You and you alone are its keeper. No company will do it for you.

Chris Russell is the CEO & Founder of the social recruiting platform CareerCloud LLC. For more see his social resume.