Finding success in an ever-evolving job market

By Aiden Camp
Staff Writer 

Finding employment and the “job hunting” world has seen an insurmountable change in this ever evolving post-COVID world. The memories of a first job can be fond. For myself, I spent a few days out of the summer of my senior year with my mom driving me from store to store. It was a rhythm I fell into. Mom slowed the car to a stop before the front entrances, and I would dash out of the passenger side door to ask for paper applications that would be returned the next morning. For my most recent position of employment, however, I had submitted nearly a dozen applications online only to be left with no response from 8/10 establishments. As it stands, I am not the only one feeling this shift in the corporate search. In fact thousands of others felt the same.

In April 2022, a journalist by the title C House posted an article to the forum describing his venture of applying to over 1000 job listings across various online hiring platforms. Preceding his employers sudden shutting down business, House was left scrambling for a replacement role that could match his pay and scheduling. Online applications are described to have been his only success, with over three quarters of today’s organizations turning to online filtering at the first stages of their application process. Of course, applying for a titanic amount of jobs will conjure anticipation for inevitable rejection. However, the results were flooring. Out of approximately 1,363 applications House records filing he was only contacted for 15 interviews- a roughly 1.1% success rate. So what exactly caused such a big shift in labor and demand?

It’s no doubt artificial intelligence made quite a splash upon its mainstream takeover in early 2023. Its presence sparked questions of job security among various occupational fields, such as artists, computer specialists, and even classroom teachers. Additional changes on “Return to work” policies and unpredictable layoffs due to recession created a highly saturated and competitive environment for job hunters. Coupled with the rise of remote access positions, internet access alone increased the amount of candidates eligible to apply.

Thus, comes the needed evolution of an already outdated job market. A field which doesn’t seem to be slowing down as Jim Sykes, a global managing director of operations, states, “Make no mistake, the hiring market is not going to get easier any time soon.”

When asking my own managers what they are currently looking for in employee applications here’s what I found to be helpful: Pay attention to any questions added into the application process. These questionnaires may seem tedious and unnecessary, however managerial heads will look to these responses first in order to gauge the contenders compatibility for the position.

Expand your interpersonal connections. Familiarize yourself with the manager or staff if possible- speaking to other employees and making a statement by personally shaking hands with the “head-honcho.” These introductions reflect an eagerness and professionalism that make names (and faces) memorable when the hiring staff eventually come across the contender’s resume.

Look to expand on skills that the job may benefit from.

Certifications can be the mark of hard-work for many employers. Familiarity with

Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, and Office are the main trinity of popular applications used throughout corporate jobs. Additionally, any awards, recognition, or personal references assist in creating a strong resume that is sure to earn a well deserved interview.

It is easy to be discouraged when waiting days to hear back from a potential job opportunity. 

Adaptation, while scary, is necessary for our current systems to survive. Just as our new generations of students come in to learn to apply for their first jobs so will today’s generations be learning alongside them.