Looking for a job in the Digital Era is as much about preparation and attitude as it is background and ability.
Create a cover letter template. This is an email template you reuse, modifying it each time. Your cover letter should be short, sweet and to the point. And it also should be personalized with the recipient’s name, their company name and address, etc. Sending out a non-personalized cover letter makes no sense when websites and search engines make it so easy to find this information. Be sure to use the proper job title of the recipient. If you don’t know it, then look it up or ask someone at the company. That might be as easy as making a phone call and asking the person who answers.
Convert your cover resume into a PDF file. Be sure to take the right steps to include any URLs that belong there. Don’t know how to include a URL in a PDF? The simplest method is to compose your resume in Word, and “export” it as a PDF. If that stumps you, call a few friends. Surely someone you know has an up-to-date version of Word or Office 2013 or 365 at home or at work, and they can help you. It’s worth a coffee, a beer, or maybe an ice cream cone to thank them for this favor.
Groom your online profile! That includes Social Media plus anything and everything about you on the Internet. Be certain any content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Google Plus, and all of the other services has no foolish photos or posts you’d rather not be seen by a potential employer.
LinkedIn is the 800-pound gorilla of job hunting. This is the key place to keep your profile current and informative. It can also be a place to find leads or to reach out. Recruiters spend countless hours searching LinkedIn for candidates. You can post there, as well. Have something to say about your area of concentration? Write it and post it on LinkedIn. Don’t be shy!
A fellow I know here in NY used Twitter to get a job a few years back. He tweeted that he was job hunting. Someone saw it, had been aware of him from his tweets, and sent him a DM to come in for a chat. Neither of them knew at that point that the recruiter’s resume software had rejected him. He went in, interviewed, and got the job.
Post your job hunt on Facebook. Let friends and acquaintances know you’re looking. In the digital era, the opportunity and the power of word of mouth isbetter than ever. Referrals of openings and contacts are almost always better than cold calls.
Use a spreadsheet program to create a job hunt database. Enter the company name, contact, when you emailed your resume, and keep a log of phone and email contact. You might speak to many companies. Rather than risk confusion, use the database to keep things straight. You’ll have a record of when you spoke to whom about what.
Getting close to some openings, or approaching negotiations? Give the company a look-see at GlassDoor to see what employees have to say about their companies and the workplace. You can find up to date salary data to be sure you’re in the ballpark.
Use Internet job sites. Dice and Monster are general job sites. Many industries have dedicated recruiters or job listings. Go to Google and Bing to look up everything you can find. Those are the digital tools of the trade. Put them to good use, and good luck finding that next job!
-- Dean Landsman, Principal, Landsman Communications Group, New York City