Has technology helped or hindered the job seeking process?
The job market can feel tougher and more competitive than ever when you’re looking for the next challenge in your career. Unless you’ve been living under a brick for the past decade or so, you’ll know that technology is an essential part of the job search.
From online resumes and registration for job alerts to optimising (and censoring) your social channels and creating a LinkedIn profile full of your achievements, there’s so much you can do to get yourself noticed by the right employer.
However, the speed with which applications can be made and the ability to make an application from almost anywhere because of mobile’s domination, means that some of the applications coming through aren’t representing a candidate as well as they could be.
With the majority of recruiters and prospective employers doing research on every candidate that comes through and 70% admitting they’ve rejected people because of this, it’s never been more important to make sure you’re using technology the right way.
A social media presence is essential when you’re convincing a prospective employer to consider you for a role. Even if Twitter or Facebook aren’t for you, a strong LinkedIn profile that showcases your skills and experience can go a long way in convincing a prospective employer that you’re the right fit for them.
The benefit of LinkedIn is that this professional network gives you the opportunity to join industry relevant groups that can give you unique insights on your chosen field or reveal exclusive jobs. Similarly, your membership in these groups is something that an employer will be looking for to demonstrate your passion for the industry.
By keeping things fresh on LinkedIn and reaching out to the contacts you have on here, you have the opportunity to secure relevant references and potentially your next role.
One issue that employers and recruiters can find with too much technology is the widespread conversion of resumes from Word documents into PDFs. Although this style of formatting is designed to ensure your CV remains formally styled, it can deter employers.
The main concern is the static nature of a PDF. While it’s not a great effort to change a line and convert it to a PDF document again, the added stage means that you’re less likely to make the improvement. Similarly, if a recruiter wants to change something as they’re reading through, they have to first request the original document which is another unnecessary step.
Ideally, you should be tailoring your CV to every new job you apply to, so that you can adjust the ordering of your skills and experience to match the order of the job description. Even if you are altering your CV and making a new document every time, the weight and association of a PDF is likely to put people off so it’s worth keeping things simple with a Word document.
Don’t get lazy
Auto-save functions on job sites and recruiters’ intranet can make it too easy to submit the same cover letter time and time again rather than write a fresh one for each role.
If you are writing individual cover letters as you should be, then make sure that if you’re attaching a file that it is the right one for this specific role. Everyone can make these mistakes but it’s unlikely that an employer will forgive you for this.
When it comes to technology in the job search, there’s so much you can do to make it work for you and help you secure the job you want, as long as you’re careful to avoid these pitfalls.