8 things to know if your job search skills are rusty

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Here's a New Take on the Job Search

If you're gearing up for a job search but haven't pulled out your resume much in the last decade, brace yourself for some changes. Job searching has changed in some significant ways in the last 10 years, both in terms of what the experience is like for candidates and which strategies are effective and which have fallen out of favor.

Here are eight of the biggest changes you should be prepared for if your job hunting skills are rusty.

1. Hiring often takes longer than it used to. If you're used to companies placing an ad, interviewing candidates and making a hire all in the space of, say, a month, you might be in for a shock. Companies increasingly are taking months to hire. Some companies still move quickly, but don't be surprised if you hear back from companies months after you initially applied, or if weeks go by before you hear back after an interview.

2. You may be asked to interview more times than in the past. Many employers are adding additional steps to their hiring process – phone interviews before meeting in person, multiple interview rounds with a wider range of interviewers, including peers and managers several levels up, requests for presentations, skills assessments and other homework assignments.

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8 things to know if your job search skills are rusty

Body language expert Tonya Reiman, author of "The Power of Body Language," previously told Business Insider that job candidates should make sure they offer the "appropriate amount of eye contact." 

"If you don't, the interviewer will assume you are either insecure, don't have an appropriate answer for the question being asked, or are being deceptive. Does that mean it's true? No, but perception is everything in a job interview."

Reiman said smiling demonstrates confidence, openness, warmth, and energy. 

"It also sets off the mirror neurons in your listener, instructing them to smile back. Without the smile, an individual is often seen as grim or aloof," she explained.

This may give the interviewer the impression that you're bored or uninterested in the conversation. Instead, keep your hands on the desk or table, and don't fidget.

In their book "Crazy Good Interviewing," John B. Molidor, Ph.D., and Barbara Parus suggest showing your palms during an interview — since the gesture indicates sincerity — or pressing the fingertips of your hands together to form a church steeple. which displays confidence, reports Business Insider's Shana Lebowitz.

Reiman previously told Business Insider you should always be aware of your posture.

"People don't realize that the job interview begins in the waiting room, but it does. So don't slouch in the chair in the reception area," she advised. "In order to be perceived as confident, you must sit or stand tall, with your neck elongated, ears and shoulders aligned, and chest slightly protruding."

This position changes the chemicals in our brain to make us feel stronger and more confident, and it gives the outward appearance of credibility, strength, and vitality, she explained.

Playing with your hair, touching your face, or any other kind of fidgeting can be a major distraction for your interviewer. It also demonstrates a lack of power, said Reiman.

This gesture will tell the interviewer you're not comfortable or you're closed off. 

"You should always keep your hands in view when you are talking," Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of "SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma," previously told Business Insider. "When a listener can't see your hands, they wonder what you are hiding." To look honest and credible, keep your arms uncrossed and show your hands.

"When we touch our faces or hair, it is because we need self soothing,"Reiman explained.

Is that the message you want to send to your interviewer

A weak handshake may tell the interviewer that you're nervous, shy, and that you lack confidence, explains Colin Shaw, CEO of Beyond Philosophy, a customer experience consultancy, in a LinkedIn post

Ideally, your handshake should be firm, but not overbearing. "The secret to a great handshake is palm-to-palm contact," Wood told Business Insider. You want to slide your hand down into the web of theirs, and make palm-to-palm contact. Lock thumbs, and apply an equal amount of pressure.

"It's okay to use your hands to illustrate a few important points," writes Lebowitz. "In fact, research suggests that staying too still can give the impression of coldness. 

"But relying too much on hand gestures can be distracting, according to Molidor and Parus."

She says you should remember you're in a job interview, not a theater audition. 

People tend to show their dominating personality by gripping the interviewer's hand and palming it down, but this tells the interviewer that you need to feel powerful, Reiman explained. "Instead, the handshake should be more natural: thumbs in the upward position and two to three pumps up and down."

As the applicant, you should always wait for the interviewer to extend their hand first, she added. 

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3. Nearly all applications must be submitted online now. If the last time you job hunted, you were still looking through job ads in the newspaper and mailing in your resume on thick bond paper, know that times have changed. Today the vast majority of jobs will direct you to apply online, often refusing to accept paper resumes at all. This can be more efficient (and will certainly save you on postage), but it can also mean wrestling with ornery electronic systems that aren't designed with candidates' ease in mind.

EXPLORE MORE: 25 tough interview questions you'll hope you never have to answer

4. You might be asked to disclose an uncomfortable amount of information to get your application reviewed. Online applications regularly require applicants to share their salary history, references and even Social Security numbers, often refusing to accept applications that don't include this information. And this is all before you've ever had a chance to talk to a human.

5. At the same time that the process has become more intense, it's also become less personal. With companies asking candidates to invest so much time and energy in longer, more involved processes, candidates are often treated surprisingly impersonally. You may interview with a company, possibly even several times, and then never hear back from them with a final decision. It's increasingly common for companies to not bother sending out rejections, or even to respond to direct requests from candidates for an update on where the hiring process stands.

6. You might be asked to do an initial screening by video. Some companies are asking candidates who make an initial cut to answer prerecorded questions by video before moving them to an interview with a live person. This can be frustrating for candidates since it means investing time in an "interview" without being able to ask their own questions or get a feel for the job or company culture.

7. Resume conventions have changed. Don't just pull out your old resume from 10 years ago, update it with your last job and assume it's good to go. Modern resumes have jettisoned the old-fashioned objective at the top of the page, the formerly ubiquitous "references available upon request" statement at the bottom and the rigid rule confining you to one page. You're still limited to one page if you're a recent graduate, but otherwise two pages are fine.

8. The old advice about following up on your job application to show persistence no longer applies. If you remember being told to call to check on your application after submitting it or to stop by a company and ask to talk to the hiring manager in person, remove those strategies from your modern job-hunting playbook. These days, busy hiring managers are annoyed by aggressive follow-up. And stopping by in person risks signaling that you're out of touch with how modern offices work.

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8 things to know if your job search skills are rusty

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Net: 23%

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