By Annette Richmond
Career Intelligence —
If you haven’t looked for a job in the last decade, or even in the last five years, you will find that things have changed. A lot. While searching employment ads used to be THE way to find a job, today it should be only one component of a job search.
Technological advances have transformed the way people look for work. The best strategy is to take a multipronged approach.
Stop Relying On Ads
Combing the job ads used to be the way you found a job. Today, searching employment ads and applying for jobs online should be only one part of your job-search strategy. Many jobs are found through networking, online and offline. Schedule at least 2 networking events a month if you’re actively looking for a new opportunity. A referral can sometimes open doors.
Create a list of employers you’d most like to work for. These are your target companies. Review their websites. Set up a Google alert for each organization so you’ll know whenever they are in the news. Follow them on social media. Look up key personnel on LinkedIn. Ask your current contacts (friends, family, colleagues, other job seekers, etc.) if they know anyone working at your target employer.
Update Your Email
Nothing screams outdated more than your old @aol email address. That goes for @yahoo email addresses too. Open an @gmail account to use for your job search. Updating your resume with this new email address will instantly make your resume and other career marketing documents look more current. While you’re at it make sure to add your new email to your LinkedIn profile in the Advice for Contacting section.
Prep for Virtual Interviews
Increasingly employers are using virtual emails, either phone or Skype, for initial rounds of interviews even for local candidates. While you’ll need to prepare for these interviews much as you would for a face-to-face meeting, you’ll also need to plan where you’re going to take the call. Will you be able to use a landline or have to rely on your cell phone? Do you have a place that’s quiet, where no one will stumble across you?
Use LinkedIn Strategically
Fill in that LinkedIn profile you halfheartedly put up a few years ago. Complete the Summary section, even if it’s brief. Fill in the job sections with more than a job title and employer. Robust, optimized LinkedIn profiles will get more attention and better results. Use the Status Update feature to share articles that might interest your connections. Join a few groups and start participating.
Although many things have changed, others have not. People still prefer to hire people they know and like. So while you may be connecting with people on LinkedIn the way to grow your relationships is to take them offline. You may not be meeting an employer in person, but you still need to make a great impression.
There’s no need to throw out everything you learned about conducting a job search, just change things up a bit to incorporate the new.