Today’s social media culture has brought new levels of transparency to everything, including your career search. The rules have changed, and so must your approach if you want to succeed.
To compete in the job market today, it’s no longer enough to send a resume to an open position. You need to plan ahead, sell yourself and be memorable. Below are some tips to get started with a job search.
- Make a list of your target companies; you can do a web search based on geography, industry or even ‘top employers in Princeton,’ etc.
- Research those companies thoroughly; review their social media sites and pay attention to comments by others on those sites. Search news, blogs, sites like glassdoor.com, etc. Try to get a feel for the culture, technology and core values.
- Go to the company’s main website and see if there are any open jobs of interest. 90% of the time, if there is an open job it will be advertised on their web site.
- Try to find the same job on the major job boards like Dice, Monster or CareerBuilder to see if it is being posted by an agency. Jobs posted by agencies won’t list the employer, but you will be able to match up the job description.
- Talk to the staffing agency to understand their relationship with the employer. If they have a history with the employer, they will better understand what the hiring manager is looking for. If you are a good fit, they will be an asset in getting your foot in the door.
- If you can’t find a staffing agency representing the job, try browsing your LinkedIn connections for someone in that company or someone who could make an introduction. You will need to be creative here in order to make this person want to introduce you. They are all peers and would love to help their colleague provided they are convinced you are the right person for the job.
This was the reactive approach. My suggestion would be to use a proactive approach where you start now to network with people in your industry. This will allow you to build meaningful connections with the right people.
Allocate some time weekly for industry networking activity. Use LinkedIn and follow companies you may be interested in working for. Participate in LinkedIn Groups to engage and connect with people in your field. Follow blogs and subscribe to newsletters so that you are aware of news, trends and who’s who in your industry. Also, always be aware of your online presence and make sure it meshes with your career aspirations.
Managing your career is an ongoing process and requires patience and persistence. Just like in sales, you will need to be active and methodical in order to engage and convert your prospects.