The Wall Street Journal recently published two articles that begin to paint a picture of the future of the job market… where resumes aren’t accepted. The links are here and here, and you can check them out if you’re interested in the background for this post.
I find the future of the market so relevant to today’s graduates and young professionals that I will be writing a four-post series on the headline of this post: ‘How to Differentiate Yourself in a World without Resumes’ over the next week. Today is part one, and it will serve as a summary outline of three steps we can all take to prepare ourselves for the day when we can no longer sit back and submit resumes to land a job.
So let’s talk about the three key ways we as career-seekers can differentiate ourselves WITHOUT ever needing a resume in order to land a career that aligns with our values, passion and long-term career dreams.
- Shift our mindset – The default strategy for pursuing jobs these days is sitting at home behind our desk and submitting countless resumes through job board postings. According to CNN Money, “80% of today’s jobs aren’t advertised.” This means that of the total job opportunities out there, we’re probably only accessing 20% of the job market. We have to shift our mindset from one of waiting to be chosen to one of proactive strategies to make things happen.
- Improve our toolset – Not from a technical standpoint (although that would help too). Once we shift our mindset from waiting to being proactive, we have to have the tools to be effective. First, we need to know how to effectively communicate, both verbally and in written form. We also need to build meaningful relationships, practice listening more thank talking, and, most importantly, we need to learn about ourselves on the deepest possible level.
- Expand our potential job set – Many times we as upcoming college grads or young professionals become limited in the possibilities for our initial career moves. Why? Because we are either provided limited information from our colleges and connections, or because we have not done sufficient homework to understand the possibilities. With a new mindset and our brand new skill set, we can intentionally expand our potential career opportunities. There are plenty of ways in which we can apply our knowledge and training in the marketplace. We need to make it our job to find them.