The advent of technology has forever changed the way we do things. It has changed the way we communicate, shop, work and this is true for job hunting as well. Traditionally, job seekers relied on resources such as newspapers for job listings. One would write a resume, post it via snail mail and wait for a response the same way (hoping the letter arrived to its destination in the first place!). In today’s fast paced world of technology things are different and this has brought with it new challenges as well as boundless opportunities. There are several things today’s job seekers can do to stay ahead of the pack.
As mentioned above, technology has changed everything including how companies list job opportunities. Everything is now done online, from the job posting, applications, and in some cases even the interviews. Any serious job seeker must now be technology savvy, i.e. know your way around the internet, and while there:
Know which sites have reliable job information/ listings– This requires research. In Kenya there are many job websites such as Brighter Monday, Career Point etc. Most companies will also list available jobs on their own websites as well, so start with the company website before going to other job websites.
Have a professional social media presence– If you are job hunting online then it is mandatory to have a professional online presence. One good way to do this is to have a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn allows you to make connections with companies or employers that you are interested in. It is also a good way for a prospective employer to confirm your past working experience or to see who has endorsed you.
Keep abreast of new technologies- As technology evolves so should you. We have moved from the era of sending paper resumes to having online profiles. We are now also moving from having face to face interviews to where employers might want to have a video/ Skype interview before calling you in. As a job seeker you must be fully prepared for such an eventuality.
Staying ahead of the pack
Job hunting in the digital age allows you as the job seeker to have more control of the search. You can learn about multiple job openings online than you would by say looking at the newspaper classifieds. It also allows you the flexibility to show case different skills and competencies that would normally be restricted in a paper resume. To stay ahead of the pack however:
Control your social media image and what you post online– start by googling yourself as a potential employer might. Pictures of you in a drunken stupor or a Twitter feed of that time you insulted your last employer might not augur well. Check your privacy settings on social sites such as Facebook to control who sees what.
Use Social Media to connect with companies you are interested in– comment on their posts, give recommendations for their products, engage with their customer service etc. anything that helps you make a rapport and create a network is useful.
Do something different- Having a profile on LinkedIn is good and useful. To really stay ahead of the park do something different. Depending on the field that you are interested in you can have a video resume, blog, website, online album, YouTube channel etc. that you can use to showcase the different skills that you have.