How to Job Hunt in the 21st Century
Job hunting used to be so simple: pay a visit to a company you heard was hiring, fill out an application on site, turn it into a manager who was waiting nearby for you to finish, hand that manager your resume and application and talk with him/her about your qualifications, and then agree to wait a few days for a decision to schedule a formal interview or to decline your application. That was it—simple.
Today, the process is far from simple. If you want to land a job in these modern times, you’ll have to employ a combination of old and modern strategies. The process can be overwhelming, though. So let’s break down the strategies into three easy to remember categories:
- Skill Set
When you’re in the market for a job, start with who you know and who knows you. Stay in touch with others and let them know you’re looking for a job. Ask them for job leads and referrals. Who might these others include? They include family, friends, and members of your social network. Add to that list former teachers, employers, and co-workers (with whom you had good relations). Ask people from each of these groupings (5-7) to give you a reference (via phone and/or in writing). If you’re using a networking site like Linkedin, ask your connections for on-site endorsements too. Be sure to include a professional title (e.g., Claims Processor) in your Linkedin headline to let connections know what you do.
Job hunting is a numbers game. The more applications you submit, the better your chances for finding a job. Use your mobile devices to complete and submit applications any time of day and from anywhere. Also remember to set up automatic job notifications via sites like Monster.com, Indeed.com, and ZipRecruiter.com. These sites will cut your job search time quite a bit because they will send posted jobs to your email inbox. Whether you have an advanced resume or a beginner resume, post it to these same job sites. Make it public too for employers to find you!
This is likely where you will begin even before you announce that you are looking for a job. This first phase is a long one too. Knowing what you have done, discovering what you can do, and writing about these can be hard. So in Tips to come, stay tuned for some pointers on how to write an effective resume.
For now, when you consider what you’ve done (job wise) list knowledge acquired and tasks performed for all volunteer and paid work. Having a clear sense of these will help you discover what you can do and point you toward suitable jobs. If you want better than the jobs for which your skill set is suited, you may need additional education or training. If your skill set is outdated, you may have to settle for less than the jobs you want until you complete further study or training. Finally, never wait until you need a job to begin thinking about your skill set. Always keep a running tally of your job titles, duties, projects, trainings, evaluations, awards/recognitions, etc.