Date: April 10, 2014

If you’ve held a position for at least a couple of years but you’re once again considering changing jobs or careers, chances are you’re in for some surprises when you decide to venture back out into the job market.

Some of the changes may have little to no effect on the way you search for a job. If you’ve only been employed for a year or two, you’re probably well aware of the fact that the internet, and more recently social media, have completely changed the way you can find a job. Others, however, could be the difference between landing a job and being passed over by the employer, particularly if it’s been a while since you looked for a job.

Alison Green, a career blogger, wrote in a recent article for U.S. News & World Report that one of the first things you may notice when returning to job seeker mode is the fact that you are now required to give more information on your online application. Such information now likely includes a salary history, contact information from references and even your social security number in some cases. For those who may not have applied for many jobs online recently, this can undoubtedly be unnerving, but it’s ultimately necessary to overcome this feeling if you want to apply for the position.

The recession and its trickle-down effects
Anyone can tell you that the job market has changed over the past few years, and that it’s tougher than ever to find a position. This, however, is an extremely vague way to characterize the intricacies of today’s labor market.

Is it more difficult to find a high-paying, permanent position in a given field these days? Certainly. But that doesn’t mean there are no possible alternatives. Internships, freelancing and temporary work are quickly becoming more normal for today’s workforce. Companies want to see what they have in potential employees before bringing them on permanently, and many workers don’t mind juggling multiple jobs if it means their schedule will be more flexible and the monotony of their days will be broken up.

The bottom line is that while a number of things have changed over the past few years when it comes to finding a job, it’s actually a good thing, as there are more avenues to explore when you’re hunting for that new position.