If it’s been a while since you were last looking for a job, the job hunting process may have changed a little, or a lot. Your social media, LinkedIn profile, online networking, and your comfort with technology like job search sites, an online application, or a Skype interview—these all can impact your job search in the modern age. See what six tips you need to master to help you find a job that’s right for your career goals, interests, and experience.
Tidy up Your Online Presence
Employers pay attention to your online persona, starting with your email address. What does yours say about you? Hopefully only your name. No nicknames, jokes, or birth years; those things shouldn’t be part of your first impression.
A 2017 poll by CareerBuilder also shows that 69% of employers research candidates on search engines, and 54% of employers have found content on social media sites that caused them not to hire a candidate. To see what potential employers will find about you, put your browser in incognito or private mode and search your name. Unless you primarily post about your field, consider making your social media private during your job search. (LinkedIn is the exception; that should stay public.) Even so, your profile pictures may appear, so they shouldn’t be embarrassing or inappropriate.
Make an Impression on LinkedIn
A strong LinkedIn profile goes far in helping you find a job. For starters, a good LinkedIn profile can attract recruiters, meaning you spend less time job hunting. It also reinforces your experience and skills for potential employers visiting your profile.
You can further demonstrate industry interest and knowledge—and attract attention—by engaging with others’ LinkedIn posts, including those from organizations and people you’d like to work for. For your own posts, share relevant articles with brief commentary or reflect on your professional or academic accomplishments, such as a completed capstone project, recent clinical experience, or graduation ceremony.
Apply the Powers of Networking
Networking is perhaps the best way to find a job, and LinkedIn makes connecting with classmates, instructors, colleagues, and university alumni simple. You can even reach out to experienced people in your field to start a conversation and see if they’re willing to offer advice or mentorship.
When job hunting, check LinkedIn for any contacts or university alumni working at the company before you apply. You might have a contact willing to refer you for the job. If a friend of a friend works there, see if they can make an introduction. If you don’t know anyone at the company, you can message the hiring manager after you apply to briefly introduce yourself, express enthusiasm about the position, and reiterate why you would be a good fit.
Put Your Research Skills to Work
In the digital age, there are so many ways to research organizations. Having expansive company insight can both impress hiring managers and tell you whether an organization is truly a good fit for you. First, visit the company website. Explore their blogs, case studies, online downloads, and social media sites. Check Glassdoor rankings, reviews, and salary information. Look for news articles or customer reviews on Google for a perspective from outside the organization.
Using LinkedIn, see who works there now and who previously held the role you want. A little digging might even turn up employee social media posts about the company and their work. This will give you a sense of their employees, the work they do, and their opinions about the company. In an interview or cover letter, you can reference company projects or values that interested you and how your own skills and values align with what you know about the organization.
Get More from Job Search Sites
From LinkedIn Jobs to Google Jobs to Indeed Job Search, you can choose from a ton of job search sites. In addition to standard job posting sites, some sites are built for new graduates (like College Grad, Way Up, and After College). Other job search sites focus on remote jobs (We Work Remotely) or specific industries like technology (Dice). Whatever you use, experiment with different search terms and filters to find the most relevant results. Then, set up a job alert for new job postings that meet your criteria.
Perfect Your Online Communications
Technology and online communication are essential when looking for a job. Many job listings use an online application, and you’ll need to check your email account regularly for messages. Be prompt and professional in all email communications. One way to save time is to create emails you can reuse for sending your resume and for following up after interviews or networking events. (Following up within 24 hours is best.) This way the bulk of your email is already written and all you have to do is customize a few lines and hit send!
Employers may also request a Skype interview (or other video interview) prior to inviting you into the office. Before your Skype interview, test your camera and audio. Other Skype interview tips including choosing a clean, clutter-free area with good lighting and ensuring you won’t be distracted by kids or animals.
Finding the right job starts with getting the right education. Find the right undergraduate or graduate degree program for your career goals at South University today.