Job Search in a Digital Age: Keeping up with the Changes
You’ve been working for a couple of years now when you find yourself back in the job search. Except this time around, you realize that common job practices that landed you your previous job aren’t exactly the same anymore! Old job search techniques have changed and now you need to revise what you know about job search today. Here’s where you can start!
1. The “objective” section in front of the resume is now ineffective.
Why? Employers are hiring because they want to solve a business need and therefore, they’re not looking to find out what they can do for you. They want to know what you can do for them. Make it about what you are bringing to the table to address their business needs. The objective statement that proclaims your career goals shows that you are “self-focused” instead of “company-focused”.
2. Targeting your resume and cover letter is important to stand out from the multitude of applicants.
It’s the digital age and what that means is: more eyes on job postings and MORE applicants. The ease of applying online also means that for every one job posting out there, there’s more competition. What can you do? TARGET your resume and cover letter for the job posting. Many companies these days use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) – They run your application through a system that looks for relevant keywords and other traits to screen candidates. Therefore, don’t assume that a human will read and interpret your resume to determine fit. You need to make sure that your resume is unique to each job posting.
3. Personalizing your job search helps you gain a human connection.
Don’t write “To whom it may concern” or “To hiring manager” in your cover letter. Since you know the company name, conduct some research. Look on LinkedIn or the company website to find the name of someone in the hiring department. Even if it’s wrong, it shows initiative in finding a human contact over the generic “To hiring manager”.
4. Employers are examining candidates on social media.
Employers can easily look up candidates through their search engine and they’re curious to see how these candidates portray themselves on social media. Therefore, make sure that your online identity strengthens your candidacy. Type your name into the search engine and see what channels show up. If you have Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites that you might use for personal uses, take a look at your privacy settings – What can the public see? Are there pictures that would affect your professional image?
5. Thank you notes are still in!
Thank you notes used to be written by hand, but it’s still appreciated when an employer receives an electronic thank you note. It shows your interest in the company and is also, another opportunity to show up on the employer’s radar. Make sure you do this to cinch the deal!