The 10 Key Job Search Trends to Pay Attention to in 2017 According to the Experts

To help you manage your job search and secure a great new job in 2017, I’ve reviewed and curated the expert advice of other resume writers, recruiters and job search coaches to share some predictions for 2017.

Overall, their predictions fall into the following categories:

  • Workforce and workplace changes 
  • Career management is up to you
  • Resumes and LinkedIn work together
  • Enhancements to the recruiting process
  • Job search has changed, but don’t overlook the basics
  • Online visibility is imperative
  • Expect more from interviews

Let me also invite you to follow these professionals online through their websites and/or social network sites.

The 10 Key Job Search Trends to Pay Attention to in 2017 According to the Experts


Micro-teams Focused On Solutions

Mark Babbitt 
CEO & Founder, YouTern   
Twitter: @MarkSBabbitt 

In 2017, we’ll start to see an end of the emphasis of “fit within company culture.” Instead, employers will stress the ability to work within mission-focused micro-teams.

Skilled Trades on the Rise

Louise Kursmark 
President, Best Impression Career Services, Inc.
LinkedIn: Louise Kursmark 

I see an uptick in skilled trades jobs. Building is booming in many parts of the country and new infrastructure investments may be coming from federal and state governments. These jobs offer great opportunities for those without a college degree, workers not interested in behind-the-desk jobs, and people of all backgrounds looking for steady work that pays well.

Side Gigs

Olivia Gamber
Partner, Career Attraction
Twitter: @TheOliviaGamber  

As wages continue to stay flat, more people are relying on side gigs to earn more income. The gig economy is continuing to grow and I see this continuing into 2017 and beyond. Marketing yourself as a solution to a specific problem is the fastest way to grow your income. If you don’t feel like you have the necessary skills to earn money on the side of your job, then it has also become easier than ever to take courses and educate yourself in order to learn skills that can immediately earn you extra income.

Optimism and Caution

Marc Miller
President, Career Pivot
LinkedIn: Marc Miller 

Hiring for baby boomers will continue to improve as the continued tight labour market will force employers to look to older workers to fill their needs.

The dreaded applicant tracking systems (ATS) will continue to vex job seekers. The assimilation of LinkedIn into Microsoft will mean an acceleration of new features along with higher fees.


Resumes and LinkedIn Work Together

Ulrich Schild
MD, TheJobSearchCoach 
LinkedIn: Ulrich Schild

LinkedIn profiles and resumes will work more in tandem.

Savvy job seekers accept the fact that, unless they have a personal website, their LinkedIn profile is their digital home base. People who can help them meet their career goals will probably find them there, and these people will definitely check out the profile to learn more about a candidate.

LinkedIn profiles allow for much more content than resumes. Switched-on job seekers will fully populate every applicable LinkedIn section, providing their whole personal brand and career story. They will abbreviate the story on their resume, targeting it to a specific employer, or specific group of similar employers. To consolidate the resume experience section, they will add a line at the end, referring readers to their LinkedIn profile, and they will add a hyperlink to their profile in that statement.

Screening Assessments

Hank Boyer
CEO, Boyer Management Group
LinkedIn: Hank Boyer 

There will be an increase in the use of behavioural assessments as one of the hiring factors employers will use to make good hiring decisions. Employers are more aware today of the need for candidates to fit well with the organisation’s culture, the new hire’s work team, and, in customer-contact roles, with the organisation’s customers. Poor fit continues to be the top reason new hires fail.

Job seekers should not be surprised to have employers ask them to complete assessments in 2017. Historically, the use of behavioural assessments has increased each of the last two times the economy rebounded, so I’d expect the same thing to happen in 2017.


Focus on Job Search Fundamentals

Tony Restell
Twitter: Tony Restell 

My biggest piece of candidate advice for 2017 is to make sure you’ve adapted to the changes that have already taken place in the jobs market.

Companies today aren’t posting as many jobs online – but are filling more roles through direct approaches to candidates and through employee referrals.

When I talk to executive candidates, it’s shocking to uncover how many haven’t done a thorough job of writing a strong LinkedIn profile that’s keyword and skills optimised, meaning they’ll never be found by the recruiters looking to fill the exact roles they aspire to. Similarly, it’s shocking how many people aren’t proactively networking and building relationships in advance of needing them. Just think how many opportunities you could be getting referred into as an ideal candidate, if only you’d done the work to foster relationships over the last years.

There are, of course, lots of new technologies that will continue to shake the jobs market up over the coming year, but addressing these fundamentals, I believe, is the single biggest thing candidates should be addressing in 2017.

Master Job Search Basics

Kirk Baumann
Founder, Campus to Career
Twitter: @kbaumann

For job seekers, I don’t think 2017 is going to be too different. Recruiting continues to shift towards the digital space, but before creating a new user profile on that fancy new job seeker website or abandoning the advice of traditionalists, keep this in mind: the basics remain the same. Research and prepare, seek internal and external guidance (mentorship). Build out leadership skills through experience and make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete. Continue to connect and engage with recruiters, hiring managers, business contacts and colleagues in a professional setting via LinkedIn. In 2017, you can almost guarantee that part of the process will include a video interview.

Build out your leadership skills with experiences outside of the classroom. Volunteer. Join a group on campus or in your community that provides you with an opportunity to work on something you’re passionate about (like empowering people or giving back).

Want to go an extra step? Take a new course via LinkedIn Learning or site like Coursera or Udemy to learn a new skill or build on one of your already established strengths. Never stop learning!


Clear and Appropriate Online Visibility

Susan P. Joyce
Publisher and Author,
LinkedIn: Susan Joyce 

Employers and recruiters relentlessly search to find qualified candidates and also to vet job applicants. So, in 2017, job seekers with clear and appropriate online visibility, demonstrating their professional qualifications, will have their next jobs find them.
In 2017, the most important job search/career requirements and skills for job seekers will be:

  • a clear and coherent personal brand
  • personal online reputation management supporting that brand
  • personal SEO supporting that brand

Without those 3 essential elements, people will be invisible. But, this means that they must be MUCH more careful about what they share, where they share, and how they share information, ideas, and opinions. What they make visible will be judged and will impact their careers as well as their job searches.

LinkedIn is essential for most professionals, but I think that Facebook will grow in importance as more employers leverage it to post their jobs. Unfortunately, Facebook is the network which is most personal and also the least professional and trustworthy. Microsoft’s ownership of LinkedIn may generate some interesting developments there, too, though.


Video Screening to Replace Phone Screen

Margo Wickersham
Owner, Margo Wickersham Coaching
Facebook: Margo Wickersham   

Ace the Video Interview

  1. Practice – ahead of time to get comfortable with this format
    2. Test equipment – prior to the interview to work out any kinks
    3. Dress professionally
    4. Remove distractions – other apps, phone and environment
    5. Good nonverbals – Make eye contact, look at the camera, not yourself, smile, use some hand gestures
    6. Conversational style – just like in person
    7. Use notes – unlike in interview, you can use notes, but avoid looking at them too much
    8. Take a second – nod when responding to questions from interviewer and wait a second before answering to avoid talking over interviewer

It’s not a bad job market out there. 2016 has actually been a good year in Australia (in most areas) in terms of the wider economy: a lot of companies are expanding, new Start Ups are popping up everywhere and, at some levels, it’s a bit of a seller’s market.  We’re expecting 2017 to be a great year.

So take a deep breath, make the time to reflect and refresh over the holidays and take the first step towards that move you’ve been waiting for. Happy Holidays, have a safe transition to 2017 and tonnes of luck with your job hunting next year!

See you again in 2017 and in the meantime remember to hunt wisely!

Ulrich Schild