The job market is changing. If you’re currently in the market for a new position, this may not come as much of a surprise. What might, however, is the expanding impact the new candidate-centered focus is having on the global job market overall. For recruiters today, it’s all about the candidate’s skill set, as they often find themselves with more positions than quality applicants to fill them.
For the job seeker, this means the focus has shifted from telling recruiters about your work experience, job history, and education (still a factor, just sliding down the importance scale) to demonstrating your skills and abilities to prove your mettle.
It’s this new focus on demonstrating skills that forms the basis for the growing area of gamified recruiting platforms. Not only do they let you put your abilities front and center, but many allow you to win swag in different forms to reinforce your performance and show potential employers how much time and energy you’re putting into your search. These prizes can take the form of actual physical gifts like branded laptop bags or coffee mugs to badges to display on your profile so recruiters can see what skills you’ve mastered with a quick glance.
So, if you’re in the market for a new role and want to make the best use of current technologies, posting yourself to a gamified platform might be just the ticket. You get to present your best self, and employers get to find out more about you than ever possible before, all in a fun environment. Specifics will of course vary from platform to platform, but the following basics are more or less universal across gamified boards.
Academies Teach and Test More than the Fundamentals
Skills assessments are nothing new in the recruitment world. What is new is the sheer quantity and quality of what’s available these days. Employers, outside agencies, and recruitment platforms are all offering their own online learning environments to help job seekers ensure they have the skills that are in demand.
What all good academies will have in common is a final project you can use to show off your talent, and some sort of certification credential you can use across the internet to show others what you know. In the end, this combination of credential and finished project go further toward demonstrating to potential employers what your abilities are than any bulleted list and chronological job history can.
Among the variations on this theme, the best academies are often offered directly by employers, either on their own sites or via a partner recruiting platform like Jobful. These stand out from the rest because you’re assured that the skills being taught are in demand, after all, the employer is the one offering to teach you these skills. And why would they do that if they didn’t want people with just those skills in their arsenal?
Challenges: A Bite-Size Taste of What’s on Offer
Challenges generally come in the form of a 2-5 minute quiz that lets you get hands on with a particular skill and show ‘em what you got. Often offered directly by employers, again, and often via a gamified platform, the results of a challenge go straight to the recruiters who posted them. This gives them an introduction to you and your talent, and puts the ball in their court to reach out and initiate contact with the candidates they like. And as a bonus to the challenges on recruiting platforms, they often lead to badges and/or points, further enhancing your reputation in the eyes of every recruiter on that platform.
Show Recruiters Your Dedication to Your Role with Certifications
Outside of job search platforms, there are many opportunities to obtain industry-standard certifications. These credentials are universally recognized across sectors as meaning that the holder has met a certain threshold of skill in their chosen field. Certifications are an excellent way for those just entering the job market to display that they have the skills and abilities to step into a role and do great work right out of the gate.
Many companies offer certification boot camps in a variety of computer programming languages, design standards, and much more. This diversity allows you to take courses online, often in a condensed time frame, and get the credential you need to land the perfect role.
Looking for work in UI, but unsure if your 2 years of experience is enough? Find a bootcamp. There are certification programs for just about any career path you can think of:
- Python development
- Mobile gaming design
- IT systems
Find one that’s appropriate to the direction you want your career to go in, get the training, then don’t forget to post that shiny new certification to all of your profiles across the web!
Badges: Captive Evidence of Your Achievements
By captive, we mean that badges are often only relevant on the platform that awards them. For example, on Jobful there are badges granted for everything from reliably updating your profile with new information to completing an academy. These badges tell every recruiter, from every company using the platform, that you care about your career and that you’re looking for the right job with the right employer.
Don’t Forget the Basics of a Job Hunt
We don’t want the newness and excitement of a gamified job hunt to blind you to the importance of some job seeking basics.
- A solid CV: Updated each time you submit it to make it relevant to that position, employers still need a snapshot of who you are and what you’ve done.
- Robust online profiles: This is most likely how a recruiter will be introduced to you and tells them where your priorities are and what you bring to the table.
- Recommendations: Did you do a fabulous job on your last project? Having a senior manager write up a recommendation saying so goes a long way toward showing your worth to a potential employer.
- A portfolio project: Not just for creatives, the portfolio is becoming more common across sectors as a great way to showcase your hard skills.
The critical piece of information we want you to take away is that in order to conduct a successful job hunt in today’s market, you need to combine the classics of a solid, well-written resume and portfolio with the fun and added excitement of a gamified recruiting platform. It’s the power of old plus new that will go the farthest in showing potential employers everything you bring to the table, while keeping it fun for you along the way.