Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about just how much job search techniques and job search tools have changed over the last few years. It’s a whole different game now. With that in mind, I decided you might find it useful to have an advice overview of things you need to know about Job Search 2.0 so you can succeed in today’s tough market!
And so, with the gracious help of seven career professionals kind enough to volunteer their time, here are job search tips from savvy folks in the know responding to my question:
Question: What one thing do you want job seekers to know about Job Search 2.0 to help boost their competitive edge in this tough job market?
Rick Saia, a certified professional resume writer and blogger at Pongo.com, is a journalist who has worked for newspapers, high-tech journals, market research firms, and tiny start-ups.
Get yourself out there! Having an online profile on a social networking site is just a start. Since more employers today are conducting web searches for potential hires, use a social networking site such as LinkedIn to share your expertise with others. Take part in a discussion, launch a discussion, answer a question, or even author a blog post or white paper on a topic related to your expertise that you can share with a group.
Susan Ireland, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume and Ready-Made Resumes software, is a resume and job search professional who has appeared on radio, TV, and the Internet. You can find out more about her including contact information by visiting Susan Ireland’s Resume Site.
The basic principle for writing an effective resume remains the same: write your resume as a marketing piece for the next step in your career (your job objective). What’s new in the 2.0 world is the way resumes are delivered to recruiters and hiring managers. As a job seeker in today’s job market, you need to be technically savvy about how to post your resume online and email it to employers, a non-issue back in the days of sending hard copy resumes via snail mail and fax.
Social media has also added a new dimension to presenting your resume to a wide audience. On LinkedIn (the primary site for professional networking and job searching), each member creates a profile, which is essentially an online resume that recruiters can search by key words and download as a PDF. Because your LinkedIn profile is accessible to LinkedIn’s millions of members, you have the potential to network with professionals and recruiters you may never have come in contact with prior to online networking. Job hunting of yesteryear meant contacting employers one by one via snail mail. Today recruiters can find and contact you because of your keyword-rich online resume / profile.
Your ability to create a strong marketing piece (your resume) is still required to succeed. Knowing how to optimize online social networking and keyword searches is the new critical skill for getting your resume in front of the right recruiters and employers.
Harry Urschel has been a Technology Recruiter in the Minneapolis area for the past 23 years. He writes a blog for job seekers at The Wise Job Search and owns a search firm called e-Executives.
Successfully pursuing a new job in today’s market requires different tactics than it did 3 or 4 years ago, and there are new tools available that can help as well. When the job market is booming, many people can simply post a resume on a job board, get calls, interviews, and an offer. In these times, that is by far the exception rather than the rule. Companies are getting more applicants per opening than ever and it’s very difficult for the job seeker to get noticed among the vast competition. So what’s someone to do?
Direct, personal contact is more critical than it has ever been. Finding someone in an organization you are targeting, actually contacting them, and presenting yourself positively and professionally is THE best way to distinguish yourself from everyone else who simply sent in a resume or applied online. How do you do that? There are great tools online tools recently available that simply didn’t exist even a few years ago. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others. They are ‘game changers’ in the sense that now a job seeker can find contacts, and information about them, in ways that weren’t possible before.
However, simple networking is still a critical component. Ask those you know, who else they know that would be worthwhile for you to talk to. Follow those connections from one person, to another, to another until you get to the one with your perfect job lead. Be prepared, positive, professional, and polished. Every impression you make will either give them confidence to refer you on, or tell you they don’t know anyone that can help.
Jessica Holbrook President and CEO of Great Resumes Fast, is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. She has written more than 100 articles featured on some of the best career advice Web sites today. You can contact Jessica via her website.
Personal branding is a must! You cannot successfully operate in today’s job market and set yourself apart from a sea of other job seekers without a personal brand. A personal brand will clearly position you as the candidate of choice in your job search, communicate your value to employers, and showcase your successes and accomplishments.
No two job seekers have the same personal brand, accomplishments or contributions. Therefore, branding is your golden ticket to job search success. In this market you can’t look, sound, or act like everyone else you have to stand out from the crowd in the best way possible and what other way is there then to demonstrate your expertise, value, and accomplishments? You should have a personal branding statement on your resume and the entire document should support it.
Your online image, social networks, personal website, leadership profile/biography, business cards and more should also support your personal brand. Each piece of the branding puzzle should all come together so that when a hiring manager sees your resume, interviews you, or completes a background check or online research about you all the elements support each other and lead them back to your brand.
Chris Perry, MBA, is a Gen Y brand and marketing “generator,” a career search and personal branding expert, and the founder of Career Rocketeer and Launchpad. For more info on Twitter lists, check out How to Find Your Job with Twitter Lists.
Using Twitter Lists for Job Search 2.0: Twitter’s recently-launched Lists feature is an outstanding new tool that not only improves the overall Twitter experience by allowing you to organize and group the people you follow on Twitter, but that can also help you optimize your job search and personal branding efforts.
Follow Lists: The easiest way to jump-start your job search with Twitter Lists is to begin following lists created by others, whether they be job search and personal branding experts offering career search advice and tips or industry-specific thought leaders offering networking opportunities in your chosen career path or field. I would recommend using sites like www.Listorious.com to keyword search for different types of lists you might be interested to follow. I would also recommend checking out the profiles of various tweeters of interest to see whether they have created any lists that you might follow, as well as to see on which lists they have been included (by clicking the “Listed” link on their profile menus). If you want to idenfity more individal tweeters of interest, use services like www.TweepSearch.com and www.Twellow.com to search tweeters by keywords.
Create Lists: Creating your own lists helps you to categorize the Twitter users that you follow specifically for job search and/or brand-building purposes and keeps them separated from the others in your Twitter network. Use www.Listorious.com and www.TweepML.org to search out other valuable lists from which you can select tweeters to include in your own. Again, you can also use services like www.TweepSearch.com and www.Twellow.com to search tweeters by keywords as another way of identifying assets for your lists.
If you’re setting up lists of job postings, I recommend using www.TwitJobSearch.com, which allows you to search for postings and in turn, shows the tweeter who posted them so you can add them to your list.
Get Listed: Never forget to consistently continue tweeting valuable and relevant contributions to your community and building up your Twitter network while you are following and creating lists. The more valuable you become, the more likely others will list you which will only serve as support to the growing strength of your personal brand.
Teena Rose, blogging at Resume to Referral, is a professional speaker, career coach, book author, former columnist, resume writer and job strategist. She specializes in applying social networking, personal branding, online portfolios, and new technologies/tools to assist her clientele in job or career change.
Job search 2.0 helps close the gap between the hiring company and the candidate … it’s that simple. Employers are shifting to transparent operations that further help establish their brands and gain long-term, loyal customers [that includes employees too].
Studies have shown that employers are reallocating their staff recruitment dollars to social media platforms. Why the shift to social sites? One main reason is cost. Right now, the costs associated with setting up and building an online social network are dirt cheap — oftentimes taking only people the company typically already has on staff.
Today’s job seekers could certainly benefit through the use of new job-search tools, such as LinkedIn, Naymz, Facebook, and Twitter. Leveraged collaboratively, these powerful tools can add a new layer of success to any job-search. In the past, job seekers treated job search reactively, probing for a position as the result of job dissatisfaction, firing/layoff, or career change. Today, job seekers are primed to be proactive … which will interestingly make job search a thing of the past for some job seekers as opportunities are attracted through the use of 2.0 technologies.
Paul Diamond is a career coach who resides in the United Kingdom and blogs at Work/Life Fusion. He recently published his new eBook, The Career Explorer’s Journal, aimed at helping folks find unique paths within their own life/career journey. For me, his take on the question provides a nice summary as well as a positive approach to Job Search 2.0 and Job Search any time at all!
I want job seekers to know that their competitive edge is unique. No two careers are the same, no two people offer exactly the same thing to an employer. You are – or at least you will be – everything your next employer hires, and itʼs you theyʼll hire; not your career coach, not what you promise them and not what you stand for. In that moment of decision it all comes down to you and who an employer thinks you are.
Nothing dulls a competitive edge more than trying to be someone youʼre not. But why am I so sure of this? Why should you believe it? You can answer the last question for yourself, but hereʼs evidence from clients I’ve worked with I used to make up my own mind:
- Figured out what she and others valued in her experiences
- Learned what employers in her industry wanted
- Made it clear and available enough for others to see
- Started to think less about what could go wrong
- Started to think more about what was possible
- Opened himself up to new opportunities and new learning
- Learned to value his experiences again after lay-off
- Stopped seeing his job search as ʻMe vs The Worldʼ
- Discovered that he didnʼt always need to be right
- Allowed herself to think about what she really wanted
- Stepped away from the ʻpowerʼ role she had always played
- Began to enjoy conversations more in the moment and less for her agenda
- Freed himself from the pressure of getting it right the first time
- Let more of his personality come out in his job search and communication
- Stopped thinking of work & life as separated at birth
- Let herself challenge things sheʼd always seen as the truth
- Acknowledged that she had grown and changed as a person
- Looked forward to opportunities rather than struggled against an impending doom
So how does this apply to you and your job search?
- All of these people are job seekers now or were job seekers recently
- All of these people worked hard to understand their unique competitive edge
- None of these people knew what their competitive edge was when they started
- None of these people are any different than you!
Nice message to end with, Paul. Thanks.
And thanks to the rest of our wonderful team of career pros – Rick, Susan, Harry, Jessica, Chris, and Teena – for all your help with this post!
As for my wonderful readers…hopefully some or all of these job search tips will help point you in the right direction to discover your best competitive edge. Good luck finding the job that’s right for you in this just-as-frustrating-as-ever 2.0 world!
And please feel free to offer your own Job Search 2.0 tips and hard-earned wisdom. The way I see it, in this is a rapidly changing environment, the more we help each other, the better off we all are.