This blog was originally selected for publication on as the Number 1 piece of advice for those who haven’t conducted a job search in 5-10 years.

If you have not conducted a job search in a while, you may think everything’s different or that nothing has changed. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s changed:

In addition to an accomplishments-based résumé, you will need a strong LinkedIn profile, as anyone who is looking to hire will check out your profile on this site, often even before contacting you.

  • Recruiters/hiring managers will also be looking at your overall on-line profile, so make sure your Facebook page and any other social media sites represent you in a way that would be attractive v. repellent to a potential employer.
  • A tight and volatile job market means more scrutiny in the hiring process. Expect longer wait times for initial contact (often a phone screening by HR or a recruiter), multiple interviews and delays in decisions.
  • Recruiters and Human Resources professionals are squeezed between many applicants for every job and the demand by harried hiring managers to see only the “best” candidates. Initial screening of credentials happens quickly (average 15 seconds) to eliminate anyone who doesn’t hit all the marks. To insure your application makes it through the first round, cover letters must “connect the dots” between their requirements and your qualifications.

What hasn’t changed:

  • People get hired because they can help organizations solve specific problems, so make sure you can articulate your value proposition in written and spoken form.
  • Advertised positions–whether in print or on-line–represent only about 10-15% of hiring activity, so don`t spend more than that percentage of your job search time and energy on this channel. Set up career alerts on job boards and with companies of interest so posted positions come to you, v. wasting time checking to see if there’s “anything new.”
  • Recruiters–whether internal or external–account for no more than 10-15% of hiring, so don`t spend too much time chasing them. Send your résumé to all recruiters who work in your industry or field so you get into their database– where they start when they’re looking for candidates. Don’t bother calling them: if they see a potential fit, they’ll call you.
  • The highest percentage of hiring results from some sort of personal contact, so make networking-related activities (research, targeting, developing contacts, informational interviewing, follow-up) comprise at least 75% of your job search.

If you’ve been off the market for a while and are now thinking about conducting a search for new work, 2BDetermined can help.