Every day I speak with clients, friends, or strangers who are dumbfounded by how much job search has changed in the last ten years. When face-to-face, more often than not, we head down the rabbit hole of easy tips and tricks that have a huge impact on this new, impersonal process of job search. These daily conversations made me think – why am I not blogging? From experience, the most minor of tips can shed new light on and transform an individual’s process. And if there is anything I love doing, it is easing the very real struggle of job search in the 21st century.
So here we are.
First up: Yes, job search has changed.
– Paper applications are almost obsolete.
– You are competing against 150+ other applicants spanning the globe (and 5 generations).
– It is almost impossible to decipher valid job alerts from SPAM.
– And if that wasn’t bad enough, your application seemingly disappears into a black hole.
… just to name a few.
So what can we do?
We could talk for days about the value of networking (that’s another blog post). However, we also need to adapt our job search approach to successfully tackle online applications. Below are the top three pointers to enhance your online efforts.
#3 HAVE A POSITIVE PRESENCE.
Employers will utilize any information they can get to make an informed hiring decision. This means you need to privatize any personal social media accounts and publicize any professional ones. LinkedIn should be your best friend – no really, as soon as you’re done here go do something on your profile. It allows you to stay connected with current and former contacts (networking!) and join related associations and membership groups. The website also provides a global platform for you to be a thought leader; post content, share articles, or write blogs. Even better, potential employers and recruiters can read first hand accounts of your performance from former colleagues and superiors. Can’t get much better! Worried about negative or unwanted “press” on the internet? Staying active on your LinkedIn page can help move older web information further down on the search page. Want to go the extra mile? Create a personal website that will appear first in web searches every time.
#2 ACTIVELY SEARCH x5.
Often, people will set up job alerts believing they are streamlining the process and only viewing the most relevant positions. Wrong. Job alerts are only as good as the search engine their attached to. You could be missing out on your dream job or amazing alternative opportunities. Instead, compile at least 5 job titles or keywords to search on 2 – 3 preferred sites. Then be sure to do a thorough search at least once a week. This will help to ensure you are accessing all possible positions that meet your needs.
To generate a list of positions keep an eye out for the different titles that populate in your searches. You can also visit websites like OnetOnline.org or MySkillsMyFuture.org to find job titles for similar or same positions. I myself can be referred to as an Employment Specialist, Career Counselor, Resume Writer, Career Specialist, Workforce Specialist, and so many more! What other titles could your next role be called?
Recommended national job search websites: Indeed.com, LinkedIn.com, Craigslist.org (yes, Craigslist), governmentjobs.org, glassdoor.com, and flipdog.com. Also don’t forget to visit company specific sites, tap into your local workforce center, or university career center.
#1 YOUR DOCUMENTS ARE EVERYTHING.
10 years ago we could go into a company, meet the manager and build rapport. We had the advantage of selling ourselves face-to-face before even submitting an application. Now, we are competing blindly with over 150 other applicants. As a job searcher, we can no longer submit a basic resume that provides a chronological history of our work experience. Our documents need to immediately stand out from the crowd. Resumes and cover letters in 2017 must:
Have a current format (which change regularly)
Be structured to immediately catch the eye of a hiring manager and pass automated screening systems
Showcase your character and personality traits that make you a great fit for the position
And most importantly, be catered to the specific role
The goal still is to discover all the jobs available, and make yourself stand out to quickly get a new job. The process is just more isolated and the onus is on us. Hit the ground running with effective job search tactics and you will reduce your overall job search time (and stress). Job search has changed, so can you.