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What You’ll Need to Be Highly Employable in 5 Years

Getting a job has never been easy.

It seems it’s only getting harder.

With four generations now actively working and seeking full and part time employment, the job search will become increasingly challenging as job seekers compete against larger pools of qualified candidates as well as those that are well accomplished in their career/ chosen industry.

You may be looking for a new job, or starting a new career altogether but the days of walking into a building and asking to speak with the boss are over. There are new rules and they will only continue to change as time goes on.

If you want to get a job in the next five years you’ll have to remember these important tips:

Let’s Start At The Beginning:  Resume & Cover Letter Over the course of the next five years the resume and cover letter will increase in its importance with respect to creativity in its appearance.

Now this is not to say that the resume becomes unprofessional in appearance, long gone are the days of listing a photograph and hobbies but now, with competition as high among graduates as it is for those seasoned workers, being able to quickly grab the attention of the screener will be most important to be able to package your skills, education, and experience in the best manner possible.

You only have one chance to make a strong impression, if you lack the skills to create a sound marketing tool of yourself, hire a professional to work with you on developing your resume and cover letter.

  • Resume: metrics built around your accomplishments at each job you have held, from the lemonade stand, restaurant job, internet based small business, or internship, are important to highlight rather than a mere listing of duties performed.

  • Cover Letters:  this should be professional in appearance and written directly and specifically to each position that you are seeking.

Competition For Jobs The employment landscape has changed significantly over the past 10 years, and with more candidates vying for the same jobs, competition in the next 5 years will be at its highest as we now have four generations in the workplace. Being able to understand and collaborate with those from each generation will be critical in one’s success.

Retention efforts of good employees has already begun as employers are focusing not only on recruiting the best, actively and sometimes aggressively seeking top notch employees from their competitors, but formal retention plans are being created by employers as a means to keep those quality employees from leaving.

What does this mean for you?

Be open and realistic in what you have to offer an employer and start at the beginning. Get in at ground level and build your career by proving your worth from the very first day on the job.

Remember you are not owed a job, you must continually earn it.

Who will be your competition for jobs?

  • Experienced candidates that are seeking new challenges or a new work environment.

  • Experienced candidates that have lost their jobs due to the downturn of the economy that are either working in lower skilled jobs or are still unemployed.

  • Experienced candidates with transferable skills that are highly rated for a career change.

  • Semi-experienced candidates (those with less than 5 years in the workforce).

  • Recent college graduates seeking their start.

  • Candidates that are returning to the workforce after a voluntary leave of absence.

What Will Employers Seek? With so many levels of candidates applying for the same positions what will the interview process look like in the next 5 years and what will be the new minimum expectation from candidates?

  • A Bachelor’s degree is already the minimum for education, with advanced education and /or technical training or certifications more the norm.

  • Advanced computer skills relative to your area of expertise.

  • Experience using platforms relative to your area of expertise, with certifications a plus.

  • More remote jobs will be in place which will call for higher skill sets to be entrusted to efficiently and effectively work off site. This also means more competition from highly skilled candidates as they can work from anywhere.

  • Alignment with company vision and values and an ability to be ‘teachable’ for the technical needs.

Application Process: The online application process has nearly eliminated the practice of mailing a hard copy of your cover letter and resume. Therefore, experience will be the focus and must be easy to locate.

The current amount of time that the initial screener will take to review your resume now ranges from 6-60 seconds!  Not much time to read through a long and poorly developed resume and cover letter.

Mobile application platforms will be in place that will allow you to apply using your phone. Convenience plus 24/7 activity will mean increased competition for jobs with candidates from around the world vying for the same jobs.

Professionalism will be paramount, so create an email account using a professional name, one that is simply first name.last name@gmail.com for example. Use this only for your employment applications as it shows you are serious about your career.

Interview process:

  • Face to face interviews are not going away. Being articulate, having confidence in what you offer relative to the job, and strong non-verbal presence are key.

  • Electronic means, such as using video presentations for the visual interview ,especially over long distances, being able to produce an electronic presentation in  your area of expertise, will be critical as will being able to field questions on your presentation.

  • Remote live video interviews, contests, online assessments, and simulations will begin to be used for student and intern assessment.

While advancements in technology will equate to an increase in competition, and with more generations remaining or returning to the workplace, some things will change and a few standard practices will remain in place.

In the end, employers all want to hire the best and it takes time, dedication, and aptitude to become the best. Starting the process as early as possible so that you are prepared will aid in your success when the job search begins.

Sara Ermeti

Sara Ermeti is an experienced human resource leader, professional resume writer, career coach, notary, educator, paralegal and entrepreneur and the founder and owner of Esperto HR Office, LLC, a full-service human resource consulting organization that also specializes in professional resume writing and career coaching to both students and seasoned employees at every career level. Over her 20 plus career Sara has also earned recognition with several marketing campaign awards.www.espertohroffice.com

Comments (5)

  • Avatar

    Darion Hawkes


    This article speaks volumes to the complex nature of getting a job nowadays. As a college student in my senior year, I am constantly seeking out guidance and advice relative to gaining a competitive advantage (or two) in the workforce. I have read many articles outlining the different aspects of being a job seeker and approaching recruiters, but none have mentioned the four different generations in today’s workforce, which I found surprising. I had only considered college grads and experienced candidates. I can really appreciate the insight on the actual competition, and the need to familiarize myself with each generation.

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    Olivia Mainville


    My grandfather tells me tales of how easy it was to get jobs in his days — walking into a job centre and being hooked up with an interview and with the job itself within 48 hours. Times really have changed! I think it’s important for students to start preparing for the difficulties of the job market earlier and earlier, in high school. Most do this by getting their first part-time job (which is often very difficult for those with little experience — my cousin spent all summer trying to get her first one) but they can start preparing in different ways. They can focus on skill development that may not be taught in university or college but may be useful later, like getting over fears of public speaking by joining a school play or debate club; learning software programs like Photoshop, WordPress, whatever they have an interest in; or picking up a new language, etc. Volunteer work, joining organizations that support their beliefs, and social media networking are things they can do too!

    • Avatar

      Taylor Brown


      I definitely agree! I feel like we were told that our Bachelor Degrees would be a free ticket to our dream job. Now it seems that it holds very little weight because everyone has one. Furthermore, I find that starter jobs are few and far between, everyone seems to want experience but without a foot in the door, how can we do so? The only options for grads these days are unpaid internships and with debts piling up, those just aren’t realistic. I think grads are definitely in a Catch-22 situation. On the bright side you made some really great suggestions for things to help pad a resume! We forget how valuable learning new skills like Photoshop can actually be!

      • Avatar

        Olivia Mainville


        Absolutely! Had I known the usefulness of things like Photoshop I would have learned them earlier. But back then I assumed people only used Photoshop to make stellar Facebook profile pics, or whatever was hot before Facebook, and that wasn’t really my thing. Silly me! And yes, I was told the same thing about Bachelor’s Degrees. I was told they were more important than college diplomas, even though I find there are more jobs for college graduates these days! Highty-tighty, narrow-minded attitudes that helped no one! And yes, unpaid internships are very difficult and are often illegal (like when an unpaid intern is doing the same work as someone who is getting paid for it).

        The important thing to look for direction, I think, is to look at oneself. Question what you are passionate about. Develop skills that have to do with that, and meet/join people/organizations that support similar interests. This can only open doors to new opportunities!

  • Avatar



    I have always known it would be difficult for me to find a job, since people were very persistent in telling me that my studies did not “match the demand on the market”. Apparently, language and literature were no longer of any importance to society. Even though I tried to keep my head up high, I could not help but worry about my future career sometimes. I graduated in literature, because it interests me a lot, but also because it was the only program that offered an internship. Moreover, becoming a translator had to help me find a job more easily as well, since translation is crucial in a country like Belgium. Thanks to my very decent training, I have all the skills to be a good translator, what I lack, however, is experience. And experience seems vital, nowadays. This article neatly lists six types of competition I could face when applying for a job, at least four of them have more experience than I do. Well, forgive me, but that is not encouraging. Gaining experience is the key to finding a job, but it seems to me that even the key is not always easy to find.

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