Our grandparents were probably able to get jobs simply by walking past a ‘help wanted’ sign or seeing an ad in the classifieds section of their local newspaper. However, the game has changed in the digital age and most people today are looking for jobs online and sending resumes at the click of a button. While this would seem like a Jetsons-type futuristic dream to our grandparents, it also brings up a host of other issues they didn’t have to think about when looking for work.
Below are 6 ways job searching has changed in the information age and the best way to handle those changes:
Casting a Wide Net
The ability to apply online is convenient but it come with some challenges. The ease of applying online has made it so more people can apply for that position than in your parent’s day. More applicants mean hiring managers can be more selective. That’s why it is important to cast a wide net and apply to as many positions in your field as possible. The more you apply, the more likely you are to get an interview.
Tailoring Your Resume
Quite often, an actual human is not reading your resume, at first, when you send it out online. Computers are initially scanning the document for key words. At a time when potentially thousands of people could be applying for the same job as you, it is important to place key words in your resume that machines will pick up on. Look at what the company is looking for and find a way to make your skills match that as closely as possible. Be sure to find a way to emphasize your strengths/skills in a way that will benefit the organization you are applying for.
Director of Career Services, Touro Graduate School of Technology, TIP: Be sure to use keywords from the job description that also match your skills/strengths as it will help showcase your resume during the initial computer scan.
LinkedIn is one of the best ways to network to find a job today. It’s also considerably less intimidating to connect with someone on LinkedIn rather than a ‘networking event.’ LinkedIn can keep you in the loop by connecting with your college classmates, college alumni, former coworkers, employers and groups that share your career interests. Its profile feature allows you to stand out more than a resume alone does. Networking is very important as some studies have shown that over 50% of available jobs aren’t posted online or in newspapers. Anything important that makes you look like a good candidate but can’t fit on your resume, can fit on your LinkedIn page. Plus if you have written some articles for your college newspaper or have a design portfolio you can include a link to them on LinkedIn. Be sure that the pictures of you on LinkedIn are current and professional.
Director of Career Services, Touro Graduate School of Technology, TIP: Be sure to connect with your advisor on LinkedIn. If you see you have a mutual connection, it may be in your best interest to have your advisor reach out to connect the two parties.
Cleaning Up Your Social Media
This one has been said a million times, but employers will Google you. Don’t put any pictures or posts on Twitter or Facebook (or any other online platform) that employers might find too offensive. Your friends might think your wild nights in Las Vegas story funny, but companies may not be impressed. It might be a good idea to keep your profile private. Just think about it... when your grandparents went out, they didn’t have to worry about their friends posting embarrassing pictures online!
So you got the job. Congratulations! Now, it's time to prepare for the interview. You can start by researching the company. Fortunately, in the digital age, researching a company is easier than ever. Look at the company’s history, mission statement, notable work and values. This knowledge will show the employer that you’re interested in their company and that you know how to do your research.
Director of Career Services, Touro Graduate School of Technology, TIP: This is a double-edge sword; employers know you have access to the information and being underprepared for this conversation might hurt your interview.
Checking Out Working Conditions
It seems like everything from restaurants to dog breeds can be reviewed online today and jobs are no exception. Did a job offer sound too good to be true? Find out! Websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor and The Job Crowd allow current and former employees of a company to review the working conditions. Make sure the salary, expectations and environment are to your liking.
PRO TIP: Asking questions during an interview is encouraged because it shows that you’re interested in a long term position with the company. Most interviewees have a difficult time preparing such questions. Online workplace reviews are a good place to start. Without using a negative indication, you could address some of the concerns or perks you read about online.
Do you have a tip or question regarding job searching in the new age? Comment below!
Interested in advancing your career? To learn more about getting into the technology industry, whether you’re a current professional or new to the field, check out Touro Graduate School of Technology in NYC. Touro GST designs specialized courses giving you an edge over other job seekers with only a bachelor's degree. A New York school of technology, Touro GST extends night and weekend classes and a competitive tuition because we all know that a good education should not break the bank. Check out an Open House and your application fee will be waived!