Most of the job search process may now be done online. This makes things easier, but it also made competition tougher. With the sheer volume of applications that employers get online, it pays to be smart in your job search using the internet in order to stand out. Here are a few suggestions to help you make the best of online tools.
Make a complete and compelling profile
The first thing to prepare is your online profile. There are several professional networking sites but LinkedIn is widely recognized as the most popular one. Make sure that your work experience, education, memberships to professional organizations and other relevant data will be seen by recruiters and HR people. Use buzz words and jargon in your field so that it can be “searchable”. Update it accordingly if you have new achievements. Link it to your website if you have one – this is a creative way of showcasing your abilities and telling employers that you are technologically savvy.
Periodically check your online presence by doing some searches on yourself using Google. This is how prospective employers will see you. And don’t forget about your email address – firstname.lastname@example.org may not give off a positive impression in the professional world.
Explore social networking sites
Social media can be your best friend when you are looking for a job. News and information about companies, industry trends and statistics that will help you in your search are shared on these platforms. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are also good venues to “sell” yourself and build your network. They can be job search tools because companies/employers, friends and acquaintances post job opportunities on these sites. Maximize your membership by joining professional groups (or “following” them) and participating in discussions. It will also be helpful to check out blogs, mini-blogs, and forums to stay updated about industry trends. You can even show your expertise in your field and impress employers through thoughtful posts.
Go only on trusted websites or directly to the source
Make a list of companies you wish to work for and directly check out their websites for job openings (research on the companies too, while you’re at it). Many of them allow you to apply and send your resume directly. The Manitoba’s Top Employers site is a good reference for companies that are highly regarded in the province; it also has a job search section.
You can always go to Indeed, Workopolis, Monster, and other popular job search websites. Be discerning – there are posts that may be scams. These usually require you to send money or sound too good to be true (offering you tons of money for little effort or for little or no skills). Posts from companies that do not have websites nor have a physical presence (they do not exist in “brick and mortar”) are especially dubious.
Observe proper netiquette
Present yourself in the best possible light. Stay true to yourself but keep in mind that you are speaking in public (so your boss, prospective employers, and even your mom, will see your posts). Make sure that the image you portray online is aligned with your professional image. Always think about your words and images before you hit send. Read the article Tips to maximize your online presence to create a solid online persona.
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