I believe I heard on BBC Breakfast that there are now an average of 30 job seekers for each vacancy in the UK.
On top of that Race Online 2010 aims to help everybody online and for unemployed this would be a huge help in finding a new job.
So with more and more using the Internet to find a job you need to be more clever in how you approach your online job hunt.
Here is some of the tricks I learned while searching for my new role.
A simple tool that allows you to get Google to automatically search your predefined search terms every day. Create as many strings as you like but make sure you create detailed strings such as:
“Creative Director” +London +digital
Google Alerts will do the searching for you and report back every day. Imagine if you had to do this manually yourself. It would be a full time job in itself.
The top tip: People Search
Don’t just search for vacancies, search for the people making the decisions such as HR managers or other managers in a hiring position.
Follow their online profiles. Some may mention they are looking for somebody before it goes official.
Also try an engage them in direct and relevant dialogue, share the same forums etc even when they are not actively looking to hire.
Google Alerts even found me a job spec which had not be made public yet and clearly the company found it most intriguing to get a job application for a vacancy that hadn’t been broadcast yet.
As I have discussed earlier in “After the digital party… the social media clean-up” more and more employers now look at social media profiles and this is a chance for you to create a professional appearance online.
There are loads of great guides on creating good LinkedIn profiles, but the basics are:
- Keep it to the point but detailed
- The summary should have good keywords
- Keep it constantly up to date
- Link to any other relevant online profiles you have websites, Twitter, blogs etc
- Make sure it is public…
- …and do NOT lie!
And on that last note, make sure the details on you printed CV matches your LinkedIn profile, especially if feature a link to you LinkedIn profile on your CV.
You can also use LinkedIn to follow companies you would love to work for and to find key people within companies such as HR people or other managers in hiring positions.
Twitter and LinkedIn relationship
While you can set up your LinkedIn status to be updated automatically by your Tweets it isn’t necessarily the best thing to do.
You will have more control by either manually updating your status (giving you more than 140 characters to play with) or using the #in hash tag to control which tweets updates your LinkedIn status.
Make sure you explore the more advanced features of LinkedIn such as embedding your blog, your tweets, you Amazon reading list and if you apply for jobs that requires you to present visual pieces of work do make use of the new LinkedIn option to use Behance to show case your work straight into your profile.
A detailed LinkedIn profile also works the other way around in that it allows job agencies to find you.
Twitter offers you a unique place to get all the info straight to you.
- Sign up to Job agencies.
- Sign up to companies you want to work for. More and more companies posts vacancies on Twitter.
- Sign up to key people within companies you want to work for. They may hint to possible vacancies long before they are officially broadcast.
Online conversations in general
There are loads of tools to search online conversations. Use them to hear about jobs before they go into “official” channels.
Applying directly with a company gives you two instant benefits: Hiring you won’t cost job agencies fees and yes, it is flattering to get direct job applications to vacancies posted on the company’s own site.
The following are tips I have been thinking about but haven’t utilised.
Having ICT skills seems to be of value no matter what job you apply for so maybe it is worth creating online supporting material to show off your ICT skills. Some ideas to look at could be: