Even the job market can be temporarily impacted by a fad or passing trend. But some trends catch on and permanently change the way the game is played.  We reported on numerous trends during 2011, but these fads have legs and will carry over into 2012 and beyond.

Persnickety Employers

IT managers are in the driver’s seat, and they expect candidates to do their homework, customize their cover letters and resumes, and go beyond their technical skills by documenting their business impact. They are unwilling to compromise and will continue to search until they find the perfect candidate. The bottom line: You have to accommodate their requests and remove any doubt to score an offer.

Shot Guns Shoot Blanks

Shot gunning the job market is a waste of time, because employers are inundated with candidates. You need to target suitable companies, build a network and offer prospective employers viable solutions to their problems or risk being lost in the shuffle.

 More Jobs Require a College Education

With the emergence of hybrid jobs, embedded specialist roles, and the insatiable demand for software engineers and new age developers, chances are you’ll need a college degree and experience to compete for IT jobs in the future. Yes, college costs have climbed an average of 6.4 percent a year since 1981, far surpassing the 0.4 percent annual rise in income growth, but over 40 years, a college graduate's earnings would top that of a high-school counterpart by more than $1 million.

Flexibility Rules

Even new grads are finding it easier to start-out on a part-time or contract basis and many job seekers are shunning traditional employment and starting their own companies. Don’t overlook entrepreneurial or contract-to-hire opportunities when considering your employment options, because employers don't care how you acquire the experience — as long as you have it.