Your Online Strategy to Finding a Job–No Matter What the Economy
Today’s Yahoo! Homepage highlighted an article entitled “Disappearing Jobs: High-Paying Careers With No Future.” I read this article with interest, as I’m always working to get my clients into positions that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to achieve. A variety of sources suggest that as many as 80% of jobs are found through networking—you’ll be the wise and strategic job candidate if you take advantage of online networking resources to improve your professional presence.
Professional Sectors on the Outs as the Economy Shrinks
This article pointed out that so many positions are disappearing due to specific factors, namely offshoring of positions, budget cuts, and the distributed approach to work.
- Domestic production facilities are losing market presence, so much of our factory work is going to cheaper international sites.
- The value of true journalism (and writing in general) is slowly waning due to the instantaneous availability of online news and blogs.
- Travel agencies are disappearing, as online sources enable individuals to plan their own travels and trips easily and cheaply—without the middle man.
Narrow the Distance Between You and Job Search Success—No Matter What the Economy
The question that remains, then, is this: What if you happen to be a travel agent, or a production manager, or (gasp!) a writer? What can you do if you need to get a new job in this failing economy in sectors that are slowly drying up?
The answer is this: Be the best you can be at what you do. The likelihood that every position in these and other industries is going to disappear is slender. But that means that in your job search, you have to be tactical and strategic in your job search technique.
You can up your ante in the job search process by engaging in several steps that will put you head and shoulders above the other candidates who are also seeking choice jobs.
Your Online Strategy to Improving Your Access to Choice Positions
- Network, network, network—the In-Person Strategy. Yes, we’re talking about online strategy. But all good networking starts with in-person contacts. This means putting yourself out there, even if you’re an introvert. Go to industry-related events, and bring your business cards. Ask your friends if they know someone at your targeted company. If you’re a recent graduate or new to the job market, enlist the help of your professors. And then ask those you’ve networked with for recommendations on additional contacts you should be making. And make them.
- Network, network, network—the Online Strategy. Build out your online profile, particularly with LinkedIn. If you’re not findable, you’re invisible, so make sure that your profile addresses the type of professional you are in the industry in which you want to work.
- Online Profile Development. Infuse your online presence not only with your expertise but with your personality. Additionally, take advantage of all the great options that LinkedIn has to offer. Use their apps. Move bits of your profile around. And absolutely create a vanity URL—it’s an option in your profile settings. By doing so, your profile will be associated with your name (mine’s amyladler), not a meaningless series of letters and numbers.
- Other Online Venues: Facebook and Twitter. Use them to your advantage. A jobseeker can post what he needs, what he’s doing, and with whom he wants to network. I’m always amazed by the great responses I get to my Twitter posts—all at 140 characters per microblog.
- MySpace. For kids. Not worth your time and effort relative to your job search.
- Google yourself. You’d be wise to Google yourself to see what turns up. If by some chance you’ve got the same name as a convicted felon (I’ve heard of this happening), you’re not going to get the offer, no matter how good your experience is or how well your interview went. Circumvent any trouble by ensuring that your online name is unique. For example, if your name happens to be John E. Smith, you might want to clarify your online presence with a new moniker: J. Ezra Smith, perhaps. Use this name online, on your resume, and in uploaded job applications, so you won’t be confused with others.
- Google others. You can be sure your prospective hiring manager is looking for you. When you have the name of the person with whom you’ll be interviewing, you’d be wise to research that person as well.
True, these strategies will work for you no matter what your industry. But if you’re trying to find a job in a flagging industry, you will be wise to work the online system in a stringent, strategic manner to ensure that you are beating out the hundreds of other candidates competing for the same jobs. But, if the Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by the Yahoo! article rings true, even though the numbers of positions available in these industries might be shrinking, their salaries are still high. Be wise, and prepare now for ever-increasing competition with a clearly defined online job search strategy.
Amy L. Adler, Career Search Strategist, is the president and founder of Inscribe / Express, a career search strategy and resume writing company. She prepares resumes, cover letters, post-interview thank you letters, executive profiles, and other critical career documents that get interviews for savvy job seekers. Contact Amy at (801) 810-JOBS.
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