It’s not news that hiring process has changed in the last decade. First there was the advent of online job boards and the end of the newspaper want ads. Then more of our social interactions went online, and more of our professional lives migrated online as well. As professionals, we have changed how we look for jobs and advance our careers in the digital age.
Following are six guidelines that will help you succeed in the world of online recruiting.
1. Personalize your search.
Often you may be tempted to send a generic resume to every job that remotely interests you. These non-personalized resumes, addressed to "to whom it may concern,” no longer get very far. Recruiters receive so many applications for a single job that it's impossible to sort through them all. In this environment the generic resumes are likely to end up in the trash.
To get the attention of a recruiter when applying to job online, you must personalize your application. First, address your cover letter to the recruiter or hiring manager. You can use networking sites like LinkedIn to track down this information.
Second, personalize your resume. Try to represent every element of a job’s requirements within your resume. If a skill is discussed in the posting, include that skill on your resume. When discussing your skills, use the same language that appears in the job posting.
Third, look for a personal referral. If you have networking connections to a company with a job opening you’re applying for, take advantage of them. Get in touch with your connections, via phone, email, or even, again, networking sites like LinkedIn, and let them know of your interest. You may get lucky and get the inside track on a job of interest.
2. Keep your social profiles G-Rated.
Recruiters today use social media as character reference for potential employees. The last thing you want is a potential employer to see is your mastery of beer pong. But what else is Facebook for? Well, this is a choice everyone who wants to be employed must make--either post the pics of yourself making a fool of yourself and risk being found out by potential employers, or take the high road, leave the pics offline, and land a job.
That may sound a little extreme, but the risk is real. New polls everyday show that recruiters are spending more and more time online looking at potential employees' social media accounts. Recruiters are turning into Facebook stalkers, and there's nothing you can do to stop them. So keep the embarrassing stuff off your social accounts and land that awesome job.
3. Prepare thoroughly for the interview.
Competition for jobs is at an all time high. With that competition you can't just walk into an interview unprepared and and expect an employer to take a risk on you. If you want to compete with the hordes of other job seekers, you need to set yourself apart in the interview process. You can do this by walking into the interview as if you already have the job. Do so by researching the job and company beforehand. Learn everything you can about the company and the position. Find employees who have held similar positions and read about their skills and accomplishments. Learn the company's language, and be ready to use it in the interview.
Don't try to wing your interview. Prepare for every aspect of the job interview as much as you can. Through some poking around online you can discover what to expect in the interview, what types of questions you will hear and so on. Don't waste an opportunity by just assuming your skills will win the position. Your skills are only the starting point. Sell yourself to an employer by learning everything you can about the job and company.
4. Treat the phone interview like a real interview.
Since recruiters receive hundreds of resumes for a single job opening, the phone interview has become a necessary component of the job interview process. Rather than a formality, the phone interview is the first interview in a long screening process. Therefore, prepare for phone interviews just as you would any job interview.
For a successful phone interview, prepare an elevator pitch. Be ready to discuss any aspect of your resume, and elaborate on any past work experience. Like a traditional job interview, the phone interview will end with an opportunity to ask the interviewer any questions you may have about the job, company, etc. So be sure to prepare some insightful questions for your interviewer.
5. Take advantage of job search engines.
When an employer goes online to post a job, they have the choice of literally thousands of websites. But you cannot possibly search each boutique job board for employment opportunities. With this reality in mind, job search engines have emerged as a solution. These sites, such as Simply Hired, bring together job postings from all of the thousands of job sites on the web, into one searchable database. This enables you to search all of the jobs on the web from one location. If you want to stay on top of all the jobs available, the job search engine is your best bet.
6. When employed, focus on performance, and keep your eyes open.
The best way to succeed today is to never become comfortable in your professional life. With comfort comes complacency. When you get comfortable, and used to a level of success, you start to lose. You have to keep fighting! You need to grow, everyday, as a person and a professional. Don't get caught watching the paint dry. People are hungry for jobs, and if you are not doing everything to make the most of your position and deliver results, you may look like someone a company can do without.
Never stop networking and never stop looking for better opportunities. If you stay hungry, you'll stay employable. To stay on top of new job postings, setup email alerts. You can create on email alert on Simply Hired, as well as most job search sites.