Let the hunt begin: Job searching tips for 2017

New opportunities lie in wait in 2017.

The forecasts are in, and thus far it looks like 2017 will be cloudy with a strong chance of employment.

Whether you're looking to break into a new industry, recovering from that "between jobs" period or just searching for something better, here are a few pointers for your 2017 job search: 

1. Use social media

There's a lot to be said for the value of social media to professionals actively seeking out new jobs, or those who always have an ear to the ground for a better opportunity. Employers are very aware of this – according to Business News Daily, 79 percent of recruiters hire through LinkedIn. In other words, just by having a LinkedIn account, you increase your chances of being approached by prospective employers. Likewise, a professional Twitter account is a great way for job seekers to start conversations with brands that they're interested in. The world is becoming increasingly connected, and online social media is an essential avenue for that connection. Don't get left out.  

2. Get comfortable with video interviewing

Speaking of a connected world, an increasing number of employers are attempting to save money on the hiring process by conducting video interviews over Skype. According to U.S. News & World Report, this is a trend that will continue into 2017. Regardless of how much time you've spent video chatting with friends or family, you may feel a bit uneasy about the idea of getting on a video interview. To that end, here are a few pointers to help you nail it:

  • Wear pants: Or a skirt – just make sure you dress the same as you would for an in-person interview.
  • Make eye contact: Look at the camera when speaking. 
  • Make the bed: Try to have a neat backdrop behind you.
  • Test the network: Make sure the location you're calling from has enough bandwidth for video.

Other than that, just remember that a video interview is really no different than any other interview. Silence your phone, log out of your chat sessions, do your research, come up with a few practice questions and get the job you want. 

More emphasis will be placed on the interview in 2017.More emphasis will be placed on the interview in 2017.

3. Prepare for some interesting questions

More businesses are seeking to hire the culture-fit candidate, which is the applicant who meshes well with the overall company culture. As a result, hiring managers are starting to ask some outside-of-the-box questions to get a better understanding of candidates' values, and how they line up with the company's. These may entail somewhat open-ended questions that, in addition to focusing on your abilities to do the job, hone in on the type of person you are. In many cases, businesses may actually put these values to the test through gamification of the interview process, which entails playing a game or participating in an activity to get a sense for how you solve problems in action. Our advice to job seekers in 2017 is to do as much research about a company's values as you would about the company itself. This will make it easier to show during the interview that you understand the culture, and then prove it, if need be.

4. Don't sell yourself short 

Of course, that's a two-way street. If your values don't line up with a company's, and you foresee a rocky road ahead as a result, then don't sell yourself short. If it's convenient to take a less than ideal offer in the interim, keep looking for something better while you work in your current role. Remember, unemployment is down at the moment, and "It's a job seeker's market right now," according to U.S. News.

So if you're an IT professional, and the first item on your list of New Year's resolutions is to improve your employment situation, make sure you check the prosourceIT career portal early and often for new opportunities.  

In the meantime, happy holidays, and happy job hunting, from the team here at prosourceIT.