Whether you are unemployed, or whether you just want to take your career in a new direction, one of the best tools you have at your disposal is the Internet.
You no longer need to rely only on Classifieds in the newspaper and a trip to your state’s employment services office. And your entire fate no longer rests on your resume (although a resume is still important).
Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can find your next job online — even if you plan to work in the offline world.
Using the Internet to Find a Job
Update Your Online Persona
First of all, potential employers are probably going to Google you if they are even remotely interested. Public items that you have shared on social media are going to be “out there.” A glimpse of some of your images on Facebook or Flickr is possible. Tweets are searchable (even the Library of Congress is cataloging tweets). And if you have a blog, what you write is out there for all to see.
Before you begin your job search, you should update your online profiles.
You want to portray yourself as a professional knowledgeable in your chosen field. Get a professional-looking picture taken that can be used as an avatar across your social media profiles. Find a tagline that incorporates an important keyword for your industry. Make sure that you post interesting and relevant insights related to your career field.
Don’t forget about LinkedIn.
This social networking site is becoming a place for employers to screen potential employees. Your LinkedIn profile should highlight your accomplishments, and focus on your professional credentials. Make sure that you fill out your profile as completely as possible so that others can find you quickly and easily.
If you have questionable images and status updates, do what you can to delete them. You might not be able to get rid of everything, but you do want to reduce the number of compromising items that a search can reveal.
Also, consider following those who work in companies you are interested in.
You don’t want to stalk them, but it makes sense to tweet a couple of insightful things they say, and Like the company on Facebook. This can be the start of a relationship that can lead to a job. At the very least, you will probably seem vaguely familiar when your resume is brought to the notice of someone in charge.
Where to Go Online to Find Jobs
Once you’ve cleaned up your social media profiles, and you have a few solid observations on your industry under your belt, it’s time to go looking for jobs.
Here are some of the ways you can find jobs online:
Company web site: Check company web sites for job openings that might fit. Many companies have a “careers” section that you can check regularly to see about jobs.
Industry job boards: It can help to look at industry job boards and web sites. My husband is starting the search for a full-time job in higher education. He goes to sites like Higher Ed Jobs and the job board offered by The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Find out where the jobs are listed in your field, and visit those sites.
Job aggregators: You can also find job listings from more general web sites. These job sites have numerous categories, and pull jobs from around the web.
Local online Classifieds: Many local publications put their Classifieds, including jobs, online. You can use these sites to peruse local opportunities. You can also use Craig’s List to find local listings for jobs.
Career web sites: Try career web sites designed to help match employers with suitable employees. These are sites like Monster and Career Builder that provide you with a variety of opportunities. You can also use sites like Glassdoor and TheLadders to find corporate jobs and get access to other resources.
Your social network: Sometimes, if you just put it out there, you can find a job. Let members of your social networks know you are looking. It’s possible to get a job tip, or make some other connection, with the help of Facebook and Twitter.
There are plenty of online resources that can be used to look for a new job. With a little creativity, and by planning ahead, you can boost your job prospects with the Internet.