4 Ways to Use Technology to Your Advantage When Searching for a Job
From social media platforms and job boards to remote work and Zoom interviews, the internet has revolutionized the labor market both for employers and job seekers. You’re no longer limited to employment opportunities within your city. There’s no more going from office to office to hand out your resume. Technology has given us new search tools, granted us access to new types of jobs, and created new ways for us to present ourselves to the world and potential employers. As a result, we enjoy more diversity, creativity, and flexibility. Job seekers can take advantage of more opportunities than ever before, and it’s never been easier to pursue your dream job.
However, there are two sides to every coin. The digital revolution has also made competition fiercer since there are more candidates applying for the same job. Just as you now have access to way more employment opportunities, so companies have access to far more job candidates than in the past. This means you have to work that much harder to stand out from the crowd.
One key way to establish yourself professionally online is through your LinkedIn profile, which is among the first things an employer will check when considering your candidacy. While not quite as important as a resume, a polished LinkedIn profile is more or less a must for today’s job seekers, offering them an opportunity to share extra information with hiring managers.
You probably already know that your profile should look professional, be free of any typos and grammatical errors, and feature a photo that clearly shows your face (no group shots here!). However, is it optimized for search engines? Does it contain the right keywords? Does it showcase the right skills for the type of job you want? If you’re not sure, don’t worry—we can write or overhaul your LinkedIn profile so it ranks higher, garnering you more views and positive reactions from recruiters.
Still, LinkedIn is only one example of how technology can aid you in your job search. In what other ways can you use it to your advantage when you’re job hunting?
1. Google yourself
Just about everyone has a digital footprint these days, and when searching for a job, it’s particularly important to be aware of what your online presence says about you—the last thing you need is your social media damaging your employment prospects. Although your resume is usually the first thing most hiring managers will see, the second thing they’ll look at is your digital footprint, and you want to make sure it projects the right image. Since most people use social media in a personal capacity, this might feel unfair, but these platforms offer a glimpse into someone’s personality, the way they present themselves to the world, and the manner in which they interact with others. This information can be invaluable to a hiring manager.
Obviously, you want to polish your LinkedIn profile with a professional-looking picture, all the right keywords, an impressive skills section, and raving endorsements from peers. Beyond what your LinkedIn profile says about you as a candidate, you want to know what else the internet has to say about you as a person, which is why you should Google yourself. Right now! What are the first links or images that pop up? What does a Google search of your name tell a potential employer? Take stock of what you find and what you would like other people to see, and make any necessary changes so your online persona matches who you are today.
To alter what Google brings up about you, comb through your social media profiles and delete or hide any pictures and posts you’d prefer a hiring manager not see. Look for posts that make you appear unprofessional—wild party pictures, mean-spirited comments, political rants, or general negativity. Also, check what pictures your friends have tagged you in, and remove the tags if you don’t want them showing up on your profile. Since it can sometimes take several weeks for Google search updates to reflect your changes, make sure you clean up your social media well in advance.
2. Highlight your tech skills
Can you code? Do you know how to use specialized software? Are you a social media guru? Be sure to put your tech skills on your resume, even if they don’t relate directly to the job you’re after. These days, tech skills are useful to just about any employer, and they are bound to keep growing in importance as technology rapidly evolves.
You should always customize your resume for each application and focus on including keywords from the original job posting—if you send out a generic resume, you can count on not getting hired. That said, tech skills are considered transferable and are in high demand nowadays, so list them under a separate skills section because every company wants tech-savvy employees. If your tech skills aren’t very strong, enroll in online classes or attend workshops to level up. These skills are relatively easy to learn at your own pace at home, so take advantage of the myriad resources available on the internet and enhance your resume.
3. Build a digital portfolio
Whatever your interests or skills are, you can probably showcase them online—and you should. If you’re an artist or a coder, you can easily publish your projects online for all to see. Even if you can’t share your work, you can still demonstrate your knowledge and expertise by talking about your field or teaching. When that recruiter Googles your name, you want your work to speak for you.
Whether you exhibit your knowledge and skills through blogs, videos, podcasts, apps, or websites, try to do something that is not only memorable but also has your personality written all over it. Upload your videos or post your articles with potential hiring managers in mind, taking into account what your content may signal to an employer considering you for a vacancy. You can then turn your digital portfolio into your calling card and share it on social media and with prospective employers.
4. Engage with experts in your field
The internet and social media have given us the chance to connect with almost anyone anywhere in the world at any time, and you should be using this incredible technology to your advantage when job hunting. Whether you’re engaging with a company you want to work for by following it on social media and interacting with its posts or people or directly reaching out to an individual to ask for advice or express your admiration, take advantage of the possibilities to communicate with people who can guide, teach, and help you get to where you want to be.
LinkedIn is an excellent tool for networking with other professionals in your industry. It’s easy to reach out and connect on this major career-focused platform because everyone else is also looking to expand their professional network. Search for people in your industry who can help you advance and find ways in which you can benefit them as well. A robust professional network can throw up opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have discovered, and your connections may even help you boost your career beyond landing a job.
Looking for a job can be a long and frustrating process, and it’s easy to lose motivation and self-confidence when you don’t see the results you’re hoping for. It can be hard if you don’t know the right people or have the right combination of skills. Sometimes, it all comes down to luck, but this isn’t pure luck—in many ways, you create your own luck by working on your competencies and thoroughly preparing for your job search.
The best thing you can do is to prepare, enhance your resume by constantly learning new skills, and keep applying for vacant positions and putting yourself out there. Use technology to your advantage and make yourself stand out. When you get invited to interview for a position, set up a mock job interview with one of our job success experts, who will give you constructive feedback to ensure you’re ready to take the next big step in your career. Not only will this help you polish your interview skills, but it’ll also boost your confidence so you present the best version of yourself to the interviewer.