Resume and job search trends that will dominate in 2018

By Micheal Gilmore

The Roanoke Times —

In 2012, The Ladders published the the results of a study that shocked job hunters: on an average, recruiters spend only 6 seconds reviewing a candidate’s resume. From there on, job applicants started trying to make their resumes clearer, cleaner, and shorter. They started paying more attention to the format, aiming to make the most important details easily visible. Those trends persist, but are constantly being upgraded.

What can we expect in 2018? What resume and job search trends should we follow?

We’ll give you a list of trends that will dominate the job search market in 2018, supported by experts’ opinions.

Professionally Prepared Resumes               

In 2013, CareerBuiler surveyed  thousands of hiring managers, human resource professionals, and workers across industries. 58% of the employers pointed out typos as the most common problem they saw in resumes. 36% of them said they were seeing resumes that were too generic, and 32% of them identified “copying a large amount of wording from the job posting” as a problem.

If you want to stand out, the resume has to be perfect.

We contacted John Laurens, a  human resources manager from Resumes Planet. “Job applicants see typos the smallest problem. You can easily get rid of most of them if you use Grammarly or similar software. However, software won’t bring your resume to perfection. There are grammar and spelling mistakes that you can’t notice yourself,” – he says.

Laurens is sure that professionally prepared resumes will be one of the biggest trends among job seekers in 2018: “When you’re not proficient in resume writing, you can rest assured that you’ll make a mistake. You’ll either write a generic resume or you’ll get into too many details. A professional writer is aware of the standards of different industries. Job applicants are finally realizing they can improve their chances of getting the interview call if they hire a writer to complete or improve their resume.”

Personality Will Play an Even Greater Role

In August 2017, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was similar to the trend we’ve been experiencing for years – 4.4%. This means that 7.1 million people are unemployed. What does this mean for a job hunter? Huge competition. What does it mean for a recruiter? Plenty of resumes to review.

The hiring manager will look for the candidates with the core skills needed for the specific job. The personality traits, however, are just as important. Employers want people who would fit into their office culture. Your resume can convey your personality up to a certain point, but you’ll have to do something more: follow up.

Laura Handrick, human resources staff writer at Fit Small Business, agrees. “Job search continues to be personal. People don’t hire form paper, they hire people they trust will do a great job in the role.” – she says.

“So after you apply, follow up in any (and maybe every) way you can – contact the recruiter on Facebook, or look for someone you know who works there in your LinkedIn account. My last resume sent via Indeed was never found by the staffing agency. It was only when I sent an InMail to the recruitment firm owner that I was contacted, asked to resend it via email, contacted by the recruiter, scheduled for interviews, and hired. If you fail to follow up with a phone, email, postcard or other form of human contact, you may as well have placed your resume directly into the shredder.”

Social Media Will Get More Important

A recent survey showed that 70% of employers are screening candidates via social media before hiring them. 54% have decided not to hire a candidate after screening their social media profiles, and 57% are less likely to consider someone for an interview if they can’t find them online.

That’s how serious social media reputation is in the hiring process. The trend is going to get even bigger during 2018. Scott Wesper, hiring manager for Arch Resources Group, agrees:

“As 2018 draws closer, social media will play an even bigger role in job search trends. When you compare the number of users overall, Facebook wins in a landslide victory over LinkedIn. Facebook has 1.86 billion users, while competitor LinkedIn has only 433 million members. Most Facebook profiles are filled with important demographic information like age, past job titles, employer information, educational background, and even interests. This will be key for employers as they target their job ads in order to reach the candidates with the proper credentials.

Digital Resumes and Portfolios

In 2015, the Pew Research center conducted a survey called Searching for Work in the Digital Era. The results showed that 54% of U.S. adults were looking for job information online, and 45% had applied for a job online.

The Internet is the most important resource during the job hunting process. You don’t use it just to search for a job. It’s also a medium that presents you as an ideal candidate. That’s why you’ll have to work on your digital resume and portfolio, since more employers will be interested in that factor in 2018.

Alec Sears, human resources manager from Frontier Communications, says: “In 2018 you will see a shift towards digital resumes and portfolios. The format of the resume itself won’t change much; it is simple and succinct and there’s a reason that it’s stood the test of time. But sites like Indeed and Glassdoor make it easier than ever to take that resume and send it out to dozens of potential employers at once. Wise job-seekers will utilize personal websites, online portfolios and even LinkedIn connections to stand out.”

Did you hear that? Wise job seekers will have personal websites. They will also have an impressive online reputation that’s visible through social media. They will be getting professionally-written resumes and they will make an effort to show their personality after submitting them. As a wise job hunter, those are the trends you should be aware of.

Micheal Gilmore is an entrepreneur and HR expert from Dallas, TX.