Use Technology to Find a Great Job
Looking for a job used to be a lot easier. You would type up a resume on a typewriter (thank goodness for technology!), drop it off at the post office and visit the office for an interview. Everything was in person or handled by third parties.
But now most of the “tried and true” interview advice you followed when you were first starting out is no longer relevant. It’s all about technology! And the technology seems to change on a daily basis. So how can you compete if you’re not exactly the most tech-savvy person? Here are some helpful ideas to put you on the right track to job success.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
There are billions and billions of pages on the Internet. And, luckily, that means lots of places to find a job. Unfortunately, it’s still far too many to browse through. But don’t get overwhelmed. Start simple. Put together a list of key words that describe your ideal job/industry. Then use that list and search for the terms through jobs sites like Indeed.com, Simplyhired.com, Monster.com (and even Care.com). You can narrow down your search to certain cities and towns and by how far you are willing to travel to work. Some sites also allow you to search by skills, salaries and job requirements. Be careful not to get too specific though – if you continually check off every trait you are looking for in a job, you may be limiting yourself and your search.
You can also try job sites that focus on individual industries. Want to work in the non-profit sector? Try idealist.org. As you find sites you like, bookmark them and check back at least once a day – preferably more. New jobs are posted frequently and you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because you didn’t spot the listing.
Visit Company Websites
Make a list of companies you’d like to work for. Then find each company’s official website by searching the company name on Google. On their homepage, look for a link labelled ‘Careers’ or ‘Job Vacancies’, which usually lists openings in the company. Visit that page every few days to see if any new jobs have been posted that are a good fit.
Also visit the company’s page on LinkedIn. When you log onto the professional networking site, select ‘Companies’ and then ‘Search Companies’ in the drop down menu. Find the business you are interested in and then look at their job postings for a potential match. Click the option to ‘Follow’ the company and new jobs will automatically show up in your updates.
Need to brush up on your technology skills? YouTube has a number of informative videos that will help familiarize (or re-familiarize) you with different technologies and programs. If you don’t understand Excel or you need to know what HTML is, search for tutorials that can fill in any gaps in your knowledge. Having trouble with email? Some email hosts like Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Outlook also provide instruction guides and videos that can answer your questions.
Sometimes the help you need can be found at your dining room table. Need to know about the latest technologies and using the Internet? Your children and grandchildren are great sources of information. Ask them to sit down with you and show you the ins and outs of certain websites. It will be a great bonding experience and you can treat them to ice cream afterwards!
In recent years, recruiters and hiring managers have started looking at a potential candidate’s profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to find out more about the candidate’s background. Also, many employers will actually look at those profiles as a way of determining whether or not they want to arrange an interview with a candidate.
If you don’t have a presence on at least one of these popular sites, you run the risk of alienating potential employers; after all, most companies are looking for people who are both technology-savvy and have a wide circle of connections. If you do have profiles up, make sure they are professional, with nothing offensive or off-putting.
Scared of finally taking the social plunge? Facebook and Twitter will always be overwhelming if you don’t take the time to just dive in and explore. Sign up, create a profile and spend a few hours looking around to learn the different layouts. Connect with friends, family and colleagues to see how they use the site, what they post about and what their profiles look like. These will be helpful clues for how you should start out. Fill out as much of your profile as you can, add pictures and then ask a friend to look over your profiles for edits and to suggest things that could be improved.
Finally – good luck!