COVID-19 may have rocked the world of employment, but it also created a whole new series of opportunities. If you are looking for work, there are a few updates to the rules of the job search. Not rules, really. More preferred guidelines.
A Note on the Guidelines of the Job Search
Remember when your work experience was honed to two pieces of paper – your resume and cover letter – and you hoped it made it to the hiring manager? Well, there are a lot more direct ways to get there and plenty of opportunities abound to help you stand out from the crowd. It’s not just your educational experience. In fact, today’s hiring is much more about emotional intelligence, collaboration, and how you use what you’ve learned in previous roles.
Among the negative notes, there are a host of positive movements for jobseekers with both established and startup firms. And sometimes, even within a legacy firm which has pivoted with the changes of our new world of work.
Thread the Needle of Responsibility
Google and IBM may be leading the charge to hire without use of a degree, but most businesses still want that piece of paper. How you present it is another matter. Think video, project portfolios, and online forms via application tracking systems (ATS). That’s just to get you in the door. The more important hurdle is understanding the nuances of your role and responsibilities.
The list of qualifications and duties has always been part of the job search. Do you fit all the requirements? Can you handle all the responsibilities? Did you read between the lines to understand what the company hopes will find in their ideal candidate to help them meet their business goals and objectives?
Below are some questions you might ask yourself when reading through job descriptions or considering where you’d like to apply:
- Are you able to not only craft reports, but also see patterns to help you gain insight into what the reports are telling you?
- From this, can you not only discuss it with your colleagues and teammates, but also across departments, executives, and stakeholders?
- Can you not only explain the patterns to both technical and non-technical audiences, but do so across multiple projects?
- What challenges will you face and how will you solve them?
- How well do you manage your time? Can you step in to lead a team or do you prefer to work on your own? Could you be flexible between the two?
- Are you able to build relationships both internally and externally – teammates, vendors, executive leaders, department heads, and the board room.
- Do you have emotional intelligence? Can you take ownership of a project and hold yourself and others accountable?
- Do you show initiative? Not just in diving into a project, but asking questions. Can you ask objective questions playing devil’s advocate on one side and seeing the possibilities on the other?
These are wide open questions to challenge yourself. Some are leadership-centric. Some are simply ‘can I do the job?’ questions. But, ultimately, it’s these kinds of questions which are asked in interview under the purview of seemingly inane questions. They’re meant to make you think and for the hiring manager to see how you think.
3 Surprising Ways to Stand Out in Your Job Search
With the rise of remote working, Zoom, and Slack, the video interview and application process has gained ground. It’s quickly become the virtual way to seek, apply for, meet with, hire, and work with prospective and current team members. But, if you’re in the tech space, you can go even deeper than video and you’ve got more than project portfolios to fall back on.
- Write about your experiences – what you’ve learned, where, why, and how. Think Medium’s Toward Data Science. Don’t forget to hit publish! Not a writer? Follow the blog and make comments.
- Network – this seems like a ‘no brainer’, but in our somewhat virtual world it can be even easier for those who already comfortable in this environment. Whether it’s via LinkedIn or Twitch, you are building relationships to help you move forward in your job search.
- Use your skills to help you run and track your job search more efficiently.
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