Technology is steadily working its way into every aspect of our lives, specifically the ways we tackle the major goals and milestones that lead us toward a functional adult lifestyle. Almost every young person in our culture has felt the impact of the internet at each big turn, from completing an education, to dating and romance, to finding a first apartment. These days, we don’t get much done without our computers, and when we do accomplish something off-screen, it doesn’t always happen very fast. The job search is no exception.
But there are some specific caveats to this, and young people who launch into a job search expecting the internet to do all the work for them are sometimes shocked and dismayed to find themselves still on the market after six months, or a year, with smartphone firmly in hand but no job prospects on the horizon. If you’re leaving college and launching into your first real, professional job search, feel free to use the technology available to you. But sometimes the more important lesson is when NOT to use it, and when to take the offline—sometimes more difficult—path.
1. Use LinkedIn. This site is simple, free, and can provide the user with targeted job postings based on a sophisticated algorithm that can be remarkably accurate. Post a tight, well written profile with all the detail you care to reveal about your skills and background. Reach out to your connections. And don’t ignore the suggested positions that LinkedIn sends your way.
2. Start a blog. Blogs are also simple and free (depending on your service) and can be easy to update once a week or so. The value of your blog will lie in the impression it makes on potential employers who read your application and then visit your blog for more information about you. You can include a link to your blog in your resume, or you can simply expect employers to find you when they type your name into a search engine. In either case, the review of your blog will usually happen after you’ve applied and before you’re selected for an interview.
3. Reach out to your connections on Facebook and Twitter and let them know what you need and what you can do. Search job postings on local and national job boards. Search job boards specific to your industry. And use online formatting and editing tools (like LiveCareer) to keep your resume in line with accepted business standards.
1. After you’ve spent an hour or two each day engaged in the online steps above, get away from your screen. Reach out to your mentors and contacts by phone and offer to buy them lunch. During these meetings, ask for advice. Take notes and remember what they tell you.
2. Arrange informational interviews. Reach out to hiring managers or company owners who you don’t necessarily know and ask for brief (ten-minute) meetings at their workplace. During these meetings, ask them clear, intelligent and genuine questions about what it takes to succeed in this business.
3. Remember: a totally online job search is easy…and that’s part of the problem. While employers appreciate tech savvy candidates, they often have more appreciation for those who have the fearlessness, diplomacy and social skills to navigate the demands of the face-to-face world. Why? Because of simple economics. The more common a skill is, the less impressive it becomes. Candidates who sit at home protected by the security of a screen are becoming more common, and therefore less coveted, than those who are willing to pick up the phone, arrange meetings and face challenges in the real world.
LiveCareer (www.livecareer.com), home to America’s #1 Resume Builder, connects job seekers of all experience levels and career categories to all the tools, resources and insider tips needed to win the job. Find LiveCareer on Youtube and visit LiveCareer’s Google+ page for even more tips and advice on all things career and resume-related.
Image source: Mat Packer
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