By Miriam Salpeter, owner of Keppie Careers, a job search and social media strategist, career coach, resume writer, author, and speaker
“The only constant is change.” This oft-quoted anecdote perfectly captures an important reality job seekers should internalize. In a rapidly changing, but slow growing economy, the most successful job seekers will be those who can easily shift and adapt to current trends and employers’ needs.
If you want to be successful in this economy, follow these five key tips:
Research constantly. Job seekers can access a plethora of information and content about their industries, target companies, or their fields in general; everything is available at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a finger. Assume employers have added new requirements in descriptions of jobs you have been doing for years. Without investigating the market, you may be applying for positions with key factors missing from your resume.
Keep up-to-date with what thought leaders in your field are discussing, and keep a close eye on major topics discussed at your professional association meetings. If the keynote speaker covers information unfamiliar to you, it’s a sign that you are falling behind in your industry and that you’ll need to catch up quickly.
Continue your education. Luckily, if you do find that you’re missing some important skills, there are more options now than ever before to catch up. Of course, you can always enroll in formal training via classes at your local college or university or via professional training programs. However, depending on what information you need to learn, it’s equally likely that a self-directed professional can find YouTube videos covering the subject matter and get up-to-speed quickly.
Use social media as a constant source of new information and resources, too. If you feel a little out-of-touch, it’s possible you can follow key industry players to feel more connected to what is going on in your field. Google the names of important industry professionals in your field; see if they have blogs, or if they maintain Twitter or Google+ feeds. You may also want to consider connecting on LinkedIn and keeping up with their updates there. You can learn a lot by plugging in where people are actively sharing information and ideas.
Identify your transferable skills. If your job is no longer in demand, and you’ve been pounding the pavement to no avail, it may be time to start shifting gears…