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When the ball dropped a few days ago, and everyone was talking about 2016 resolutions, were you thinking about changing jobs? The new year can be an excellent time for making career moves — even if the prospect of putting yourself out there and searching for new opportunities can seem a bit daunting.

Luckily, you don’t have to go in blind. In a fantastic U.S. News & World Reports post titled “5 Trends for Job Seekers in 2016,” career expert Hannah Morgan shares some helpful info designed to give you a leg up as you begin your search.

First up: Consider working in analytics, mobile, automation, and/or health care technology. According to Jobville CEO Dan Finnigan, all of these industries are going to flourish in 2016. Health care, in particular, will be a big one, as America’s aging population continues to require increased levels of care.

The next trend: “School isn’t as important as skills earned.” While a college degree remains essential, Morgan says, companies are starting to care less and less about where you studied. This is good news if you went to a modest school — so long as you continue to build the kinds of skills that’ll make you an in-demand employee. This means taking online classes and possibly even enrolling in community college for certificate training and master’s degrees.

In terms of the job-search process, Morgan says to focus more on “talent communities” than traditional job boards. What are talent communities? They’re “interactive discussions between human resources, employees and potential employees where real questions get asked and answered,” Morgan writes, citing Dice (for IT folks) and Mediabistro (for communications professionals) as examples. These communities are often accessible via mobile device, and they save you the trouble of applying for jobs that aren’t the best fit for your skill set. They’ll also keep you in the loop for new opportunities as they arise.

The fourth trend Morgan highlights is the growth of mobile solutions. Apps such as Jobr and Switch allow jobseekers to swipe through listings, much like single folks using Tinder. Such apps are especially popular among millennials — the “instant-gratification generation,” as Morgan calls them — but in 2016, they’re liable to become more prevalent in the general population.

Last up, Morgan says “virtual work” will make geography less of a factor when it comes to hiring. Now that the technology exists for many people to work remotely, companies are embracing the idea of a “virtual workforce.” See an awesome job listing in another city or state? Don’t let distance keep you from firing up that mobile device and applying!


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