Despite people saying that the economy is doing great and technology advancement is creating more jobs, job seekers are still complaining because it is hard for them to get the job they want. The truth is, according to Kurt Barr, a senior financial analyst, jobs might have been created but they are only for certain industries and for certain considerations.
Why is finding a job such a pain in the neck?
The most common reason is that many companies have no intention or are getting better at filling their job postings with internal hires - this is why applying for a senior position seems so difficult. Alison Green, at askamanager.com, said that sometimes job postings are simply a formality to announce that a company is hiring. However, this does not mean that the company intends to deceive job seekers.
The scenario is like this, explained Green. ABC Company posts a job ad in job posting platforms. Alex, a current employee of ABC Company, sees the job ad and he expresses his interest in the role advertised. Then, he tells his employer about his interest and the boss welcomes Alex’ intention, encourages Alex to enlist.
In the above scenario, while there are many external applicants, the employer would still weigh his choice to Alex. Why? Because Alex is more promising to the job position since he has been working with the employer for some time so he will require a shorter learning curve which will cut the recruitment cost. That being said, albeit you have a good qualification, an internal candidate remains the priority for employer.
Another reason why job seeking is challenging is that you might have written a resume that is not dedicated to an applicant tracking system (ATS), such that you never get that interview invitation. Peter Economy survey revealed that from 250 resumes which are sent for a single opening, 75 percent of them are rejected by applicant tracking systems. Out of 250 applicants, only 4-6 will be called for an interview, with only one person will be offered the job. These findings suggested that you are not only competing with internal candidates but also competing with other candidates to get pass through the ATS machine.
How difficult will it be for you to compete in 2020?
The answer is that 2020 job hunting does not have to be an excruciating experience. Albeit some reports mentioned that nearly all (98.2 percent) 500 companies use ATS and about 75 percent of large companies use an ATS, you can still compete by equipping yourself with the right strategy to beat the ATS system. You should also learn and upskill yourself to the extent where you can fit in the 21st-century skills and obtain certifications to prove it.
What are the 21st-century skills?
According to a LinkedIn survey, there are 10 in-demand hard skills and 5 in-demand soft skills to thrive in today’s job market competition.
HARD Skills: Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Analytical Reasoning, Artificial Intelligence, US Design, Business Analysis, Affiliate Marketing, Sales, Scientific Computing, and Video Production
SOFT Skills: Creativity, Persuasion, Collaboration, Adaptability, and Emotional Intelligence
How to beat the ATS?
The key to getting through the ATS system is by paying attention more to your keywords and resume design. It is also important for you to understand how the ATS system works. Some things that you need to check and rewrite include the following points.
Format - make sure to keep your resume simple and use consistent formatting for your work history and dates. You can also avoid labels, and use a .docx or .pdf file format.
Job description - tailor your resume to the job description. Even if you apply for the same role in a different company, make sure to rewrite your resume and check their job description as different companies might give different descriptions.
Keywords - optimise your keywords by matching the resume keywords to the job descriptions. Use both acronym and long-form version when writing your resume, i.e., search engine optimisation (SEO).
Writing rules - DON’T use tables or columns, DON’T use header or footer, DON’T include pictures, charts, or graphics, USE traditional fonts such as Helvetica, Garamond, and Georgia, and USE standard resume headings.
Keep your resume simple and readable for a recruiter to find out your essential information (this work for both screening with and without ATS)