’s Top 5 Tips to Help Job Seekers Catch Up With Today’s Job Market

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Most of us don’t need to job search often enough to be really proficient at it. Understanding what works now – not what worked 2 or 3 years ago – is the key to successful job search, according to Susan P. Joyce, Internet job search expert and Editor of award-winning job search portal and popular work advice blog

Effective job search methods have changed a great deal since 2008 because recruiting methods have changed, particularly in the last 2 years, with the growth of social media.

The combination of improved technology and a tough economy have made it even more important that a job seeker catch up to what’s happening NOW, or they risk a very long job search.

1. Avoid the “missing person” issues!

Many job seekers believe that not being visible in a Google search of their name is good for them. They are confusing "invisibility" with "privacy" - two very different things! Privacy is good; invisibility is bad!

Being invisible makes them look like a "missing person" - demonstrably out-of-date. And, worse, being invisible makes them vulnerable to mistaken identity problems if someone with the same name has a bad online reputation.

The best strategy is to ensure that potential employers find good stuff specifically about the job seeker, created and controlled by the job seeker (see # 2 below).

2. Manage that online reputation.

According to a recent Microsoft study, 79% of employers checked out applicants' online reputations before contacting them. So, online reputation management is critical in today's job market. Two excellent tools for online reputation management are LinkedIn and Google+ because the job seeker controls what each shows the world about them.

Because LinkedIn is usually included on the first page of any Google search on a person's name, it eliminates the “missing person” issue and also provides an excellent platform for job seekers to showcase skills and accomplishments - to "manage the message" about themselves as companies manage their brands.

Of course, a Google+ Profile link is also usually included on the first page of any Google search on a person’s name, also eliminating the "missing person" issue, supporting the LinkedIn Profile, and offering additional ways for job seekers to present their image to the world.

For more information, read Job-Hunt's Unlock a Successful Job Search with Online Reputation Management.

3. Leverage the power of the Internet to prepare for interviews.

Recently, a job seeker told me that the first question she was asked in an interview was, “What do you know about us?” If she hadn’t been prepared, she would have lost the opportunity at that moment.

Visit the employer’s website – who, what, where are they? What do they sell/provide? Who are their customers or constituency? Who are competitors and business partners? Do they tweet their job openings and news or have a Facebook page with news and job openings? What else does Google show about them?

Job seekers can demonstrate their ability to use current technology, as well as their interest in the employer and the job, by preparing for the interview – ideally with one or two questions ready, based on that research. For more information on preparing for interviews, see WorkCoachCafe's Answers to the Most Common Interview Questions and Job-Hunt's Job Interviewing section.

4. Convert the old-fashioned “work-history” resume into an accomplishment-focused resume, modified for each job opportunity.

We are long past the days when a one-size-fits-all resume, listing every job in the work history, worked effectively. In today’s tough job market, a resume designed to appeal to every possible potential employer instead appeals to none of them.

The old-fashioned resume also demonstrates how long it has been since the job seeker last did a job search – maybe back in the “Dark Ages” before personal computers, word processing software, and the Internet.
See Job-Hunt’s Resume Expert Susan Ireland’s resume advice and sample resumes for help.

5. Put the Internet to work to connect with old friends and former colleagues.

Yes, the Internet network helps with networking! Because hiring someone who doesn’t work out is so expensive, people often hire someone they already know, at least a little, or someone known by someone they know – in other words, someone in their personal network.

The Internet offers many tools for staying connected, and for re-connecting, with people you liked and respected from your past – Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.
Employer “alumni groups” are wonderful for helping job seekers find former colleagues, coworkers, bosses, etc.

You find these alumni groups on LinkedIn, in Job-Hunt’s Employer Alumni Networking Directory which lists over 250 groups, and through the search engines.


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Susan P. Joyce