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The job market has changed, have you?

This blog post originally ran in the Memphis Business Journal March 5 and on its website March 8. You can view the original post here.

By Beth Hisaw, talent acquisition manager at ProTech

We’re quickly approaching one year since our last firm handshake at the door and in-person job interviews. Similar to everything else in our lives, the way we once approached applying, interviewing, and landing a job has changed.

But this shift goes deeper than how you might prepare for an interview — it’s changed the entire process for both the interviewer and the interviewee.

Employers consider expanded remote workforce and new benefit structures

As the working from home trend continues, many employers are nixing their return to the office plans to continue remote or hybrid work. Candidates have to be adaptable and remote work skills hold high value.

The SHRM 2020 Global Report, The Future of Work Arrives Early, noted that respondents from the U.S. said they were more likely than those from any other country to use remote work as a magnet for new talent and retaining their employees.

Memphis has seen this trend, too. Large corporations adapted early and invested in tools their employees needed to be successful at home. By doing this quickly, companies now have the resources and knowledge to invest in hiring remote workers and are shifting their focus toward increased employee benefits.

Business leaders have increased visibility into the personal lives of their employees. People have faced unprecedented personal and professional struggles over the past year. This visibility is setting up 2021 to be when employers step in to provide support and a number of unique benefits — especially those connected to mental health and financial wellness.

Candidates must recognize the implications of full-time remote employment and digital assessment processes

A person interviewing for a telecommuting job needs to be prepared for the associated challenges that come with permanent — and not pandemic-necessitated — remote work.

Distance-based integration challenges, natural distractions, communication gaps, and unanticipated cultural disconnects can cost remote workers their positions if they’re not equipped to navigate them.

Additionally, more employers are turning to pre-employment skills testing to reduce hiring costs and training. Job seekers should be prepared for program competency, emotional intelligence, and cognitive ability tests. While these tests might seem intimidating, they’re a great tool for unbiased, objective hiring and skill demonstration.

An evolving job market requires candidates to customize their resume and prepare for interviews

1. It’s vital that candidates do their research on the role, industry, and organization before applying. Whether or not a candidate has done their research is obvious in the interview and on paper.

2. Get rid of the objective statement, a concept that is outdated and can be replaced with a professional summary that gives hiring managers a snapshot of your expertise before diving into your resume.

3. Call attention to your achievements on paper and in the interview. Employers love metrics, so include numbers that measure your success. Include growth numbers for a project you led, frequency of your job tasks listed, degrees, awards, and more.

4. Prepare and test your equipment before the interview. There’s nothing worse than finding out your microphone or camera aren’t working as the interview is starting.

5. Set up your shot, and practice. Check your video and adjust your seating so you aren’t too close or far away; ensure there isn’t any glare; and you can maintain good posture and run through your answers.

The job market has seen its fair share of shifts over the past year, and this is the perfect time for job seekers to reposition themselves for career success.

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