Today an interesting and useful post from Sara Stringer. Sarah is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about business and everything current.
It will come as a shock to many individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 just how much job hunting has shifted in the many years since they last put out their applications. Some 20+ years ago, it was often as simple as showing up to a location, dropping off a resume, and waiting to hear back from the business.
Today, the game of job hunting has gone high-tech and may surprise you with its options (which can be simultaneously overwhelming):
- Job search engines
- Industry job boards
- Social media (LinkedIn & Facebook) & networking
- Freelance marketplaces
- Online recruiters
- Virtual events
…and the list goes on and on.
Much of the process is the same as it ever was, though there have been many advancements in technology and how we submit our applications. The cover letter, resume, and follow-up are still the main assets to use when seeking a job through an online platform. In reality it’s not nearly as scary as it may seem even if you have some trouble navigating your way around the Web.
Here are some of the key actions to consider (and employ), when online job hunting, after you’ve had a lapse in needing to do the activity:
Learn about (and begin using) the new platforms
Information is your ally in this process of job hunting and it just so happens that you’re, right now, staring at the best tools for the job: the Internet.
There are thousands of great articles that can aid your understanding of how these newer websites and platforms work when submitting your applications.
Take a few days to begin learning about the various online platforms like the job search engines (like Monster), creating and networking through a LinkedIn profile, or seeking reputable online recruitment services which can guide you through the process.
Update those main assets (and tactics)
Those three things we talked about?
- Cover letter
The cover letter will come naturally because it’s mostly telling the who, what, and why for sending in the application. The resume, however, has changed over the years so it would be within your interest to mull over a few various tips for writing resumes to bring yours into the 21st century.
The follow-up is quite crucial to the matter (as you could expect) because many businesses advertising a job listing will be bombarded with applications, yet only a few may take the time to show action which often tips off the job listing business that you’re going the extra mile to gain the position.
Networking (the digital way)
The job you may have originally landed 20 years ago may have come through association with a friend, family member, or a friend of a friend – referrals were (and still are) very powerful. The associations you built were generally through school or other early work opportunities.
Today, we have shifted to using social media as one of the main forms of reaching out and building a network because so many of us are on there using it each and every day.
There are many others but these would be the ones you’d want to hone your focus on. This new process has become such a norm that you’ll have no trouble finding great articles on using social for job hunting.
The main things to remember/do are:
- Get the main profiles setup, filled out, and as accurate as you can make them
- Use the built-in search to seek out others that are in your desired industry
- Visit the websites of companies offering positions and follow them on social
- Join in on conversations with these individuals and businesses
- Shoot them emails and rub elbows with those that can make the big decisions
What’s in your favor is the amount of work experience you have which automatically gives you the perception of being an authority figure for that industry. All that’s needed now is tapping into the technology, finding the right people, and making the pitch.
The big thing is not to get discouraged.
The technology is there to help you and it’s quite easy once you understand the process but there will be a learning curve in the beginning. When you’re stuck you should seek help from those that are literate with using the Web to mentor your process and show you the ropes (even your children or grandchildren could probably help in this regard).
It’s going to feel different but much of it remains the same; you’re still mostly submitting the traditional assets but through a new medium.
Good luck out there, hold your head up, and keep at it!