The Resume Battlefield: Understanding the Job Search Landscape

A man getting a job search landscape overview

Whether you’re looking for a new job or you’re trying to get your first job ever, you’ve probably figured something out on your own already. It’s a pretty difficult process.

While convincing someone to hire you has never been an easy task, and it has always required you to jump through hoops, the last decade or so has completely changed the job search landscape.

At Innate, we specialize in providing a number of services designed to help you determine your optimal career path and to help you actually land your first job on that path.

Before you start looking at our quizzes, here’s a job landscape overview to help you with the modern job-hunting environment.

1: It’s an Online World

The days of putting “boots on the ground” and visiting businesses in person are over. The digital age is here, and practically all the big changes we’re going to talk about have been driven by that. 

Now, the first time you speak to someone from a company you’re applying at, you’ll likely be in the interview process. Sometimes, even that’s handled online, and you don’t meet anyone face-to-face until you start or go in for your onboarding procedure. 

As such, learning to navigate the online portion of the job searching process is crucial. Even if you attempt to try it the old-fashioned way and ask to turn in applications in person, most businesses are just going to tell you to go online.

2: Your Resume Needs to be Applicant Tracking System Optimized

One of the biggest hurdles you’ll find in the job search process is that most businesses utilize Applicant Tracking System (ATS) screening programs.

Essentially, ATS works as a filter to scan through every document that is turned in online. It not only checks to make sure applicants meet the requirements of the job before putting their resumes in front of the hiring team, but it also tends to throw away about 75% of applications over simple mistakes.

Job search landscape overview - 75% of applications get rejected because of mistakes

This is a huge problem because even if you’re the perfect applicant, something such as the wrong formatting on your resume can make it so a hiring manager never sees your application

As such, we recommend reading one of our articles on Applicant Tracking System optimization and tweaking your resume to match our guidelines. 

Right off the bat, this will give you a major advantage in the hyper-competitive job-hunting field, and you can at least put yourself into that 25% that earns the attention of a recruiter. 

3: Your Resume Needs to Grab Attention Easily and Quickly

If impressing an automated system with extremely picky standards seems like a tough task, impressing the hiring manager or recruiter who looks at your resume is even worse. 

When they’re being inundated with applications every day, and they still have to handle normal job duties, they don’t have time to carefully read over every detail of your resume. Usually, they won’t dedicate more than 11 seconds to a single resume

That means that, by modern standards, you have 11 seconds to visually impress the recruiter, relay detailed information regarding your education, job history, and skills, and overall, prove that you’re the best candidate for the job. That’s it. 

Any unnecessary information can turn a recruiter off and get your resume chucked in a bin, and any poorly placed information might not even be noticed. 

4: You’re a Small Fish in a Very Big Pond

On top of an automated screening system and recruiters with very little time to look at resumes, you have to consider that you’re just one of a multitude of applicants. 

If 100 people apply for a position, and the ATS screens out 75% of them, you’re still 1 of 25 people a recruiter is going to take a look at, and by the time they’re finished whittling their list down for interviews, you’ll probably be competing against a dozen or more people. Most job positions get hundreds of applications per week, and some even get thousands. 

In short, you’re a small fish in a very big pond. If you want to get the job, you have to truly stand out as the perfect candidate, and any advantage you can get (ethically, of course), you should use.

5: Interview Requirements are a Lot Stricter, Nowadays

Once you get through all that, the interview process is your last real challenge. It doesn’t help that most interviewers in the modern job landscape operate on a set list of rules and protocols, and the process is treated in a rather robotic fashion.

You either nail everything, or you get passed on in favor of someone who does. In fact, most interviewers already know what answers they’re looking for, and even wording issues can affect your chances of getting hired.

Job search landscape overview - an interviewer asking questions

In the modern job search landscape, you must take time to research the company you’re applying for, get an idea of what the recruiter is looking for, and practice tailoring your interview skills to give you the best chance possible  of getting hired. 

Get Yourself on the Fast Track to Success with Innate

If our job search landscape overview gave you the impression that your job search will be complex and demand considerable effort, that's accurate.

However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and there are tools that can make your chances of success a lot higher. 

To help you focus your resume on your core strengths and  ensure it will work with ATS systems, take our free resume review. All you have to do is upload your existing resume and we will do a free resume assessment and provide you with recommendations for how you can start getting better results.

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