There are scores of articles written about all the tools available to today’s job seeker!
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Google+, YouTube, Quora, Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice, GlassDoor, Indeed, SimplyHired, LinkUp, and countless other online resources would seem to make a job search in today’s world a simple proposition! Right?
Not so much.
While there’s no doubt that any of those resources can be a great asset in your search, they don’t necessarily make it any easier.
Here are some things to consider…
Public information levels the playing field. While it’s a tremendous asset for you to have all the easily available resources and tools, everyone else has access to them as well. When you find a position posted online that seems tailor fit for you, everyone else looking for a similar role sees it as well. It’s great to find out about an opportunity that would have been difficult to discover otherwise, however, there is far more competition for the position since everyone else can find it just as easily. Furthermore, you’re not only competing against other qualified candidates, but against everyone who decided that the job looks interesting and applied whether they are qualified or not. The difficulty for the employer to find you, as a truly qualified candidate among all the unqualified applicants grows dramatically.
Tools are only as effective as the user. So many job seeker hear that they ought to be online to take advantage of the tools available to them. So they set up a LinkedIn account, a Twitter account, a Facebook account, and perhaps others… then wait. And are disappointed when nothing in their job search seems to change. It’s similar to paying for a membership at a health club, never going to work out, and then being disappointed that they don’t seem to be getting in shape. Having a profile on LinkedIn is a good thing… however, that’s only a small portion of the power of LinkedIn. Learning and applying all the ways that LinkedIn can be used as a resource for your job search is key. Similarly with any other tool available. They are only as useful as the user makes it.
Nothing beats live interaction. While it may be attractive to think that all the online tools might enable you to sit in front of your screen and land your next job without ever having to actually talk to anyone, it’s not likely to work that way. As long as your only contact with a potential employer is through an online application, email, tweets, and other online forms of connecting, all you are is a piece of data similar to the dozens or hundreds of other pieces of data trying to do the same thing. The way to distinguish yourself is to show them you’re a real person, and that happens through a direct conversation. Whether it’s on the phone or in person, you become more significant compared to other candidates when you actually connect.
Deliberate contact and being Pleasantly Persistent wins the day. When you face greater competition due to more people being able to pursue the same opportunities you do, it’s critical to set your self apart from the crowd. Making an extra effort to reach out and talk to people rather than apply and wait for a call becomes a necessity. Not giving up after the first, second, or third dead ends pays dividends. Don’t be satisfied with talking to one person at the organization. Connect with 5, 10, or 30! Be professional, be upbeat, be considerate, be pleasant, but be doggedly persistent!
Realizing that online tools can be great resources to make your job search more effective is terrific. However, they will not make your task simpler. The work is still up to you.