Most job seekers typically begin their searches by entering a job title in the search bar to see what opportunities come up. From there, they read the Overview and Key Responsibilities and peruse the Qualifications to see if they meet the prospective employer’s eligibility criteria. But very few job seekers scroll down to what I call the “Little Box of 10” where over half of recruiters make initial decisions about whether to consider a candidate.
82%+ of jobs today never get posted. They fall into what’s called the “hidden job market” of opportunities NOT posted on job boards or advertised by recruiters. Even with the use of Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to parse and rank candidates, the tsunami of resumes generated during Covid-19 caused employers to pull job ads in favor of having recruiters proactively search for candidates online. And what was the compelling criteria beside job titles that got entered into search fields? Skills. Not years of experience. Not education. Skills. Recruiters are busier than ever with lots of open positions they have to fill so having a simple criteria to find candidates and rank their fit for the job boils down to skills.
When you look at job postings on LinkedIn or other public job boards that you’re registered on, scroll down and look for the “Little Box of 10.” This will tell you, based upon your Profile and resume, how you match with what the employer is looking for. Make sure this is accurate before applying, You may, in fact, need to tweak your Profile and resume for skills the Little Box of 10 indicates you don’t have but in fact do. The better skills match you are the higher you will rank as a candidate and the more attention you’ll get from recruiters.
When you take a skills-driven approach to job searching, the returns can be impressive. Take the extra step of reviewing your resume and LinkedIn Profile so that you can enhance your skills in the Experience section by giving examples (quantifiable wherever possible) of how you used those skills to impact your business, company, and customers. Expand the traditional way of job searching by job titles by adding skills you’re passionate about using in your next career iteration. Search for jobs that best fit what you do or want to do.
LinkedIn has created a tool called Future of Skills that resides on GitHub in which you can filter by 34 countries, 20 industries, and hundreds of job titles to see how skills for positions have trended over several years and which new ones are being added. It’s an invaluable resource for creating a professional development plan for keeping on top of what skills are in demand. LinkedIn’s Future of Skills combined with its Career Explorer (also on GitHub) is a great tandem tactic for navigating a complete career change. You can enter the job title you currently hold to identify by default similar opportunities or ones farther afield and you’ll see the skills you have and the ones you should add.
Feel adventurous? Delve into AI’s ChatGPT, search “What careers are open to me?” and you’ll receive suggestions, some that will be surprises but may in fact be just what entices you. Use LinkedIn Learning’s extensive catalog of classes to build the new skills you need. Coursera, Udemy, edX, and Skillshare are other excellent sources of self-paced professional education. Micro-certifications are great additions to your LinkedIn Profile and resume to demonstrate your new knowledge.
- Professional Career Coach (CPCC)
- Business Coach (Expert Level)
- Workplaceless® Remote Work Certification
- Certified DISC Profile Analyst (CDPA)
- Certified Professional in Design Thinking (CPDT)
- Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Business Certification
- Accredited Project Manager Certification (APRM)
- Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB)
- PhD in Marketing
- MBAs in Business Strategy and Leadership
- Master’s in Psychology and Behavioral Statistics
- Top 25 MA & PhD profiles in the U.S.
- Top 1% LinkedIn Industry Social Selling Index (SSI)
- All-Star: highest rating for LinkedIn profile
- 4% of LinkedIn members statistically deemed a Super Connector
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator Expert
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