Tuesday, February 15, 2011

5 Ways You Look Out-of-Date in Your Job Search

by Susan P. Joyce

For most of us, a job search, fortunately, is NOT something we do often enough to be really proficient.  So, when the time comes to job search, we must look at what is effective now – not what we did when we last hunted for a job 2, 5, or 15 years ago.

Effective job search methods have changed a great deal since 2007 because recruiting methods have changed dramatically with the widespread use of the Internet and search engines and, particularly in the last 2 years, with the growth of social media.

If job seekers don’t understand how “the new system” works, they can look out-of-date and less desirable as potential employees.  These are the 5 major ways that job seekers can look out of date. 

Whether over 50, under 30, or in the middle, job seekers risk looking out-of-date by:
  1. Being a ”missing person”!
    I know several older job seekers who are proud to be invisible in Google.  You search on their name, and you may find other people (eek!), but you don’t find them.  When I warn them of this lack of visibility, each has said to me, ”I am protecting my privacy.”  But, they are invisible, which makes them “missing people.”  And that is most definitely NOT good!
    Particularly for people looking for positions in marketing or sales, a lack of positive online visibility demonstrates a lack of understanding of current, effective marketing methods.
    A missing person is a “nobody.” In the 21st century, people often assume that only someone who is 100% off-line, who demonstrably does not understand the Internet, is invisible.  And who would want to hire someone who is obviously out of touch?  So, the employers move on in search of people more up-to-date in their understanding of how the business world works today.  Opportunities lost!
  2. Ignoring the power of the Internet to connect with old friends and former colleagues.
    People often hire someone they already know, at least a little, or someone known to someone they know – in other words, someone in their personal network because hiring someone who doesn’t work out is so expensive. The Internet offers many tools for staying connected, and for re-connecting, with people you liked and respected from your past – Google/Bing, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
    Employer “alumni groups” are wonderful for helping job seekers find former colleagues, coworkers, bosses, etc.  You find them on LinkedIn, in Job-Hunt’s Employer Alumni Networking Directory which lists over 250 groups, and by Googling “[employer name] alumni group.”
  3. Having a poor LinkedIn Profile.
    LinkedIn offers people with jobs - and also job seekers – wonderful opportunities to network.  For someone who is employed, they may be more effective in their jobs as a result of the connections they make, the visibility they have, and the information they learn through LinkedIn. 
    For job seekers, LinkedIn offers an opportunity both to showcase their accomplishments and also to demonstrate their understanding of how business is done now. So, use that showcase – list major accomplishments in the “Summary” section, put a description, not just a job title, in the “Professional Headline” section.  Find more ideas and excellent advice in Job-Hunt’s LinkedIn for Job Search section.
    Recruiters love to search through LinkedIn to find potential employees with the right set of skills and experience, offering job seekers a wonderful opportunity to be found, without the effort of finding and applying for jobs. And, the good news about a good LinkedIn Profile is that it eliminates the “inivisibility” problem. 

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