I recently joined the ranks of the unemployed, and have been forging ahead with my search for the next exciting opportunity. Let’s face it: I hate being unemployed. Unlike a lot of people I know, who have recently recommended that I live off the state for awhile and spend a summer off, I actually enjoy having a job, and miss having something to do every day.
Back in 2005 and early 2006, when I was last doing a full-time job search, my primary venues for advertising myself were the standards: Monster.com and Yahoo! HotJobs. Am I utilizing these tools again? Absolutely. But so much has changed in the last five years that I have started using other methods of reaching potential employers. From that, I have learned a few valuable lessons to employ when conducting one’s online job search.
Google yourself. The Internet never forgets. I did a recent search on my name and ended up with 3,670 results. I’m actually astonished. On the upside, my top four hits were the places I would most prefer employers to visit:
Many of the other links were mentions of the blog on other sites, comments that I’ve posted elsewhere, and things related to some of my past jobs. It’s always a good idea to check and see what kind of things are listed in Google under your own name, because you never really know what you’re going to find.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete. A lot of recruiters look to find discrepancies between your resume and the information that you put on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure the information – including dates, title, responsibilities, and so forth – match up. Also, it’s always a good thing to have recommendations. I was lucky enough to be recommended by five people so far, three of whom were my managers. Recruiters are more impressed to see recommendations from managers than from co-workers, so if you don’t yet have any, request them! You never know who might come up to bat for you.
For additional information, Jessica Simko over at Brand-Yourself has an excellent post entitled “Build A Social Media Resume – How You Use LinkedIn Can Impact Your Job Search.” Read the full article.
Apply to companies directly. I had a long discussion with a recruiter last week who informed me that, because Monster.com and sites like that make it very easy for people to apply to jobs, HR departments tend to be overwhelmed with resumes from potentially under-qualified people. That is not to say that these job sites don’t work – I actually had an interview today with one to whom I’d applied on Monster – but by going directly through a company, you have more of a chance of your resume getting to the hiring managers, rather than being discarded early on by an HR assistant.
Be creative! Last month, I read a fascinating article about a young copywriter who managed to land himself a job using Google AdWords. Essentially, he purchased ads using the names of certain creative directors at companies for which he wanted to work as the keywords. He ultimately received calls from most of them and landed two job offers while spending approximately six dollars in total. A number of people have also had success hunting for jobs via Twitter, whether it was by hearing about a job from one of their connections or using a tool like TwitJobSearch. Simply by tweeting about my job search, I’ve gotten about six leads for jobs in the NYC tri-state area so far.
The job hunt is tough, especially with the current economic climate, but I’m keeping positive and chugging right along. The interviews keep getting set up, and I am confident that I will land an exciting, stimulating job soon. Fingers crossed, and best of luck to all of you who are out there with me!