The beginning of the year is considered a great time to begin a new job search thanks to everyone being back in the office and companies having a solid idea of what their hiring needs are. But every new year comes with new challenges and expectations for job seekers. What makes 2024 different from previous years?

“We see many more job seekers come and use our site in mid- to late-January.”-Scott Dobroski, Indeed.

While there are always evergreen job search tips, being aware of what makes a new year unique will add an edge to your job search. 2024 builds on the trends from late 2023, including embracing AI tools, highlighting adaptable skills, a slew of emerging industries, and more. We looked at what experts believe to be the landscape-defining traits job seekers should be aware of in 2024.

Use new technology

As the job search landscape grows wider and more complex, new and emerging technologies allow a job seeker to keep up. In 2024, the rise of artificial intelligence will only continue to grow, and it’s worth learning how to make it work for you.

Via CNBC Make It, experts have recommended using ChatGPT or similar programs to not only write and format your resume but to also add vital keywords and phrases from a job listing to better match the requirements. AI can even help you research companies, come up with interview questions, or learn about market trends. Just be sure to proofread the results yourself. AI information isn’t always 100% accurate, and it can be obvious when something is written by AI thanks to the clunky use of language.

Target growing and emerging industries

New technology doesn’t just mean a new helper for your resume building. It can lead to new job titles, new industries, or increased roles in growing industries. By staying on top of technology and market trends, you can specifically target industries actually seeking top talent like you.

Where should you take your talents? The US Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that the leisure and hospitality industry will see a surge over the next decade, with around 23% of job openings falling under that umbrella. PeopleReady also reports that manufacturing and warehousing and events and venues will experience growth thanks to new technological advances and needs.

In addition to thriving industries, new roles will emerge. AI is only going to become more commonplace as the technology grows. Soon, we’ll need AI editors to manage their content. Keep looking for ways to use your skills to explore these new roles.

Highlight soft, transferable skills

The above is why we place such importance on having transferable skills and knowing how to market them. You can learn new hard skills on the job, but having a proven track record with in-demand soft skills will show you’re the right person for the job.

Aerotek’s Mackenzie Fraizer says that many companies are looking for green employees who they can train their own way, especially for new roles where it’s impossible to find someone with years of dedicated experience. The better a candidate can sell their story and provide specific examples of how they’ve used their skills in the past, the greater chance they have of getting the role.

Instead of obsessing over a flawless resume — especially when it comes to aesthetics, focus on tailoring your resume to the specific job you’re applying for and highlighting relevant skills and experiences. Show metrics and deliverables where you can. –Ashley Stahl, Forbes

Do research and be specific in your search

The spray-and-pray method of quickly applying to many jobs and hoping you’ll get calls back isn’t the best move. With it being so easy to apply for jobs and with the amount of competition for remote and hybrid roles, sending a generic application isn’t an efficient way to get noticed. More than ever, you need to focus on doing the right research and focusing on quality over quantity.

Careerflow highlights that not only does research help you find a role you actually want but it will make your application materials better, giving you a better chance of landing the job.

“Imagine this: You walk into an interview, confidently discussing the company’s latest project or praising their corporate social responsibility initiatives. You’ve clearly tailored your answers to their specific needs, showcasing a genuine understanding of their culture and values. You will impress the interviewer.” -Careerflow

Be open to new possibilities

Ultimately, today’s job search looks much different than it did ten years ago, and each year will have rapidly increasing differences from the last. Our culture is evolving quickly, and it can be hard to catch up. Just as a job in social media may have been a confusing concept in the early MySpace days, more new roles will appear in the future. And PeopleReady highlights how we’ve already seen a massive trend of job seekers exploring new opportunities thanks to the pandemic and the Great Resignation. To have the best chance in today’s market, you need to keep an open mind and consider new possibilities.

Keep brushing up on your skills and learn new ones when you can. Take advantage of any upskilling opportunities your current organization or local community has. Research ways that those skills can be used in markets you may not have considered. It can be tough out there for a job seeker, but new possibilities emerge every day.

Wrap up

Even while many industries are still undergoing large layoffs, you can succeed in your job search by using new resources, learning how to promote your best skills, and keeping an open mind. The labor market can be tough, but updating your search strategies is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for the journey.

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