The job search has changed completely over the last decade. Where once you would have to look in your local newspaper for the latest openings or visit an employer directly, these days things have gone digital.
In many ways, it is easier than ever to connect with employers. But you need to know how to go about it the right way in order to be successful. Here are some key strategies that will help you when you search for a job in the digital age.
Recommended reading: Five qualities employers look for in job candidates
Create & Maintain a LinkedIn Profile
If you haven’t got a LinkedIn profile yet, that is the first thing you want to do. It’s easy enough to set up, just make sure you use a photo of yourself and fill out all the fields.
This is your new CV.
But a LinkedIn profile is more than just an online CV. To get the most out of it, you need to maintain it. That means staying active, connecting with people you know, and getting introduced to people you don’t via your own connections.
Employers and headhunters use LinkedIn to find out about candidates. They may find you directly when searching the site, or they may check out your profile after you send in your CV.
Make sure your profile is professional. It should highlight all your experience, and you should also keep it updated. Make sure the people you want to find you can find you.
One of the great things about the internet is how easy it has made networking. While in-person networking is still highly effective, you can just as easily network online when it comes to finding new job opportunities.
LinkedIn is a great starting point. Find the people at companies you want to work for and try to connect with them. Or use LinkedIn to find their details, then reach out to them by phone or email and get on their radars.
Be Tech Savvy
These days, tech skills are essential in nearly every job. That does not mean you have to be a developer or know how to code, but you will stand out a lot easier if you show that you are tech savvy.
Simply having a LinkedIn profile is a good way to start, but make sure you highlight any tech skills you have, the software you know how to use, and online tools you are familiar with.
Do you have any experience in ecommerce? Many businesses sell products and services online, so make sure you highlight your skills in this area to demonstrate the value you can offer.
Make it clear that you know your way around Skype, Google Drive, Word, Excel, and similar software because these are used in many jobs. And if you don’t know them, learn them.
Maintain a Solid Online Presence
Do one thing when starting out: Type your name into Google. This is what your future employer will do, and they will see exactly what you see.
Ideally, this should include your LinkedIn profile and other social channels. But you can improve what shows up fairly easily.
Start by launching your own website. This can be done for free or very little cost. As well as showing your tech skills, it can become your online hub. It also allows you to have your own email address rather than a free Gmail address. This instantly shows you have a level of tech knowledge that many people lack.
You could even start to publish a blog in which you discuss topics that are relevant to the type of work you want to do. You could take it further and publish guests posts to demonstrate your expertise. You might even get noticed if potential employers read your article.
One thing you must do: Take a professional profile photograph and use the same photo everywhere you appear online.
Target Interesting Employers
Start searching for employers you want to work for. Then, rather than knocking on their door, be more subtle:
- Get introductions on LinkedIn
- Comment on blog posts
- Share their social updates
Submit your CV via their websites. Many sites have pages specifically for this. It won’t lead to immediate work, but it is a good thing to get into the habit of doing. Then follow it up with a personal email and make an effort to get noticed.
Search Job Sites
Of course, you can always visit job sites like Sage SkillsMap. Sign up, create a CV, and get notifications delivered to your email address.
Prepare for Webcam Interviews
When you get invited to an interview, you may find that it is not a traditional in-person interview. Instead, it may be over the phone or even via a webcam.
Be prepared for this. Dress smartly and act like you are there in the office rather than in your bedroom. Ensure you have a good computer with a microphone and camera, and make sure the room you are in looks clean and professional (no old clothes all over the floor!)
Create a Smarter CV
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are becoming more common. This is software that determines whether you get your CV past the first stage and in front of the hiring manager.
Craft each CV for the specific employer and for the ATS software by using the right keywords in it, and always proofread to avoid mistakes. But make sure it is still compelling for a human reader—they will ultimately make the final decision.
Make Your Own
If you’ve tried all of the great tips above and still haven’t found the ideal job, you can take things into your own hands by making your own job. This is a higher risk approach (you won’t get the security of employed work) but the digital age has made it simple to do.
- You can set up a brand-new niche digital business by yourself and create a customer community focused on shared passions
- You can buy an affordable ecommerce business and make it your own through content marketing, and make it pay through automation
- You can launch a consultancy agency to sell your existing skills and build on your expertise
These are just a few of the ways that you can make your own digital job. Remember, though, that while there are lots of perks to being your own, it’s a lot of hard work and has none of the guarantees that come from working from an established digital brand.
The job search has changed forever. In many ways, the digital age has made it a lot easier. But you still have to know how best to go about it properly in order to boost your chances of finding your dream job. So follow these tips and start searching for your dream job.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for advice on jobs, businesses, causes, and cultural interests. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.