The rise of digital has enhanced job search capabilities for savvy seekers. From LinkedIn groups to Twitter hashtags created to support job finding, opportunities abound. Digital tools can assist in connecting with like-minded individuals that may aid in your job search and achieve first-mover advantage for openings and updates. Here’s our top tips for putting digital tools to work in your search.
Identify digital red flags
It’s tempting to focus on making sure you look like a highly desirable candidate. After all, who can afford to be picky in this economy? It’s important to remember that you’ll have better success targeting a small group of companies than everything under the sun. That means identifying the best candidate companies and pursuing relationships that will get you noticed. But how do you know which companies deserve your undying attention? Asking a few simple questions can get you started.
Is the company website from the 90’s? If the company doesn’t maintain a healthy digital presence that could be a warning sign. Even the stodgiest of organizations have realized that the digital age means change. Failure to invest in a quality company website may point to deeper issues with technology (and a lack of core competencies). Throw this one out the window if you’re interviewing to redo the company website!
Has social media been repressed or discouraged? If you can’t seem to locate low to mid-level employees on social networks such as LinkedIn, or if the company lacks a mere presence on basic platforms like Twitter, that’s a red flag. It’s also an indicator that internal knowledge-sharing may be lacking.
Can you find peer reviews? Yelp changed the way we go to restaurants – in the same way startups like glassdoor.com want to change the way you search for jobs. Companies (and especially large organizations) are reviewed by the people who work or have worked there. It’s an opportunity to check out what’s really going on. Granted reviews don’t tell the whole story but they do offer another data point to consider.
Is the company proud of it’s culture? You should be able to get a sense of the dress code, social dynamic and how to approach an interview by liking a company’s Facebook page, following a company on Twitter, or through the company blog.
Tell your story
Provide complete information that matches! If your printed resume, social profiles and blog don’t match what you say in an interview or if you’re trying to play favorites by embellishing experience depending on application recipient you may be hurting your chances at being taken seriously. It’s easy to check these days and smart recruiters understand how to quickly validate information using digital tools.
You’ll need to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and your references are in order. If you have industry experience one of the most valuable things you can do is get recommendations from your former employers. Social recommendations go a long way to proving your worth and showing hiring managers exactly how you are connected.
Get rid of adolescent or unflattering social garbage. That means removing pictures of late nights out, racy tweets and inappropriate status updates. It’s not about hiding who you really are, it’s about showing your professional self. Companies aren’t hiring you for your “night off” attitude – they want you for the intellectual stuff you come up with in “pro mode.”
Demonstrate discipline by consistently doing something you are passionate about. Since we’re all about digital at lonelybrand we look for things like regularly updated blogs (2-3 posts per week on a focused subject) and focused social updates. It’s not about your audience size or quality – it’s about a self-imposed program that you can stick to. Consistency is directly related to reliability – and that’s never a bad thing.