Time and again, we hear stories of people who have been out of work for a long stretch of time, who suddenly find employment in places they never thought to look.
Take for example the story of one young woman, unemployed for three years, who has maintained contacts with people she’s met at alumni events for her alma mater. Out of the blue, one of these contacts messages her up to say they have a position that would be perfect for her. And she wouldn’t have kept in touch with that contact if not for the internet.
Even with so many people out of a job and looking for positions, it is still incredibly possible to find a job online. Employment consulting firm CareerXRoads found that 13.2% of hirings were done from job boards and 22.3% were from a company’s website in 2009 alone.
Below are some useful tips you can employ when it comes time to hit the web for your next job lead.
Don’t blanket your resume
It can sometimes be tempting to send out our resume to every possible contact, but that can be a problem, particularly now that so much is shared online. Some employers may view it as spamming if they notice you sending your info in for several different positions at the same company, and it could come off like you lack focus.
Instead, really hone in on the jobs you would be best suited for and that best match your skill set. You want to get the resume into the right hands. And keep your applications to one per company. Likewise, tailor your cover letter and introductory email to each job you submit for. The key here is customization, so you don’t appear to be desperately grasping at any company that will take you.
Constantly update your resume
It’s imperative that employers be able to find your resume online, and a resume database is a great way to make that happen. Upload your doc to one of the many database tools available on the internet, and make sure to use keywords relative to the jobs you are looking for.
Then, once your resume is available online, update it constantly. This will help keep you near the top of the search results for these databases. You can even make just one tiny change, but try to do so at least once a day.
Have an online presence
Similar to making sure your resume is available online, you also want to make sure your presence is felt throughout the internet. You want contacts you have met or past co-workers to be able to find you if a position opens up in your field that they want to speak to you about, and people are reaching out online in large numbers for this very purpose.
Visible Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profiles are a great way to start. Employers can find you, and you can likewise follow others in your industry, to get a feel for when things open up at their firms.
Clean up profiles
While these profiles are a useful way to keep in contact with others, it is crucial that you clean up your content. You don’t want any potential employers to come across questionable content on your page. Interviewers often browse the social media profiles of individuals they are considering hiring, so removing risque photos, overly political or profane posts, and any other negative content will go a long way to making you look like a better candidate.
Utilize social media
Once you’ve got those social media pages cleaned up, use them. Try to expand your social media reach, linking with people you meet an industry events and mixers. Sometimes you can make great contacts just connecting with friends of friends. And social media is an ideal place to get involved with various groups linked to your industry, or to join private circles of likeminded individuals in the same line of work. It’s just like getting together with colleagues to talk shop, only in the virtual world.
Listen, finding a job can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, but using some of the tools we have at our disposal can make that climb that much easier. And it’s no question that the internet has quickly become one of the quickest and most efficient tools of the trade–so make sure to use it wisely.