By Farnoosh Torabi
Slaving over your resume to land a new job? You may be focusing too much on the wrong thing. Recent trends are pointing to changes in the job market – and if you can meet some of these new hiring standards, experts say, you’ll be high in demand.
First, if you think it’s better to be good at 10 things instead of amazing at just one, think again. According to researchers at MBO Partners, employers will be more focused on hiring experts and highly skilled workers in 2012. In other words, niche will be necessary.
“I think it’s going to be a lot harder to get a great job if you’re too much of a generalist,” says certified career coach and job interview specialist, Pamela Skillings. “Employers are really looking for someone to be that go-to expert, that authority on the job.”
According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 43 percent of employers say they plan to hire workers age 50 and above this year, up from 41 percent in 2011. What’s more, three out of four employers said they would consider an overqualified worker above age 50, with many saying it’s due to the fact that mature candidates “bring a wealth of knowledge to an organization and can mentor others.”
Skilling hopes this means that older workers will finally be getting the praise - and pay - they deserve. “Unfortunately older candidates have been discriminated against in the past but I think that’s shifting a little bit. I think companies have been burned hiring the cheaper young candidate and now they’re thinking they want that expert ... and an expert often comes with years of experience.”
Researchers at MBO Partner also predict that by 2020 more than half of the private workforce will be "career independent," or self-employed, so expect to see more openings for contract work, as opposed to full-time staff positions.
“Both companies and candidates are looking for more flexibility and a contract workforce provides that,” Skillings says. Contingent workers also allow companies to stay lean and avoid hiring more permanent workers, which are more expensive because of benefits, such as health insurance, paid vacations and sick days, she adds.
More Than Just a Resume
Paper resumes are losing their luster. Employers are increasingly judging applicants based on their online profiles at sites like LinkedIn. They’re also searching for videos of job seekers online and evaluating how they respond to online quizzes.
“You still need that resume to back you up, but it’s no longer that all-important first impression,” says Skillings.