Colloquium on Job Hunting

Looking for a job is never going to be at the top of your “fun things to do” list. Nevertheless, we’ve all been there, and there are many tools at your disposal that can help you along the way. We sat down with business coach, Rachel Ritlop to discuss what job search strategies to try and what to skip.

GET SOCIAL

A job isn’t going to come to you; you have to seek it out. If you’ve cultivated a personal brand or internet presence that represents you well, use that to your advantage. Get out there and let your networks know that you are on the job hunt. Social media is your friend.1Ritlop recommends “Starting with a social media scrub. Check all of your social media channels and Google yourself. It’s better to know what your digital footprint is when going into the interview process so you can handle conversations accordingly. Even if you aren't trying to have a personal brand, as soon as you create a social media profile you have one.”

Every social network is different. Ritlop recommends paying attention to specific aspects of each of them during your job hunt.

  • Facebook: “Facebook often changes their privacy terms, leaving some people thinking their profile is entirely private when it no longer is.”
  • Twitter: “More and more people are leveraging their Twitter profiles to establish themselves as industry thought leaders. If you have unsightly tweets, delete them.”
  • LinkedIn: “I think it’s a good thing for prospective LinkedIn interviewers to see you’ve looked at their profile. It shows you’re invested and doing your research.”
  • Instagram & Snapchat: “It’s better to be careful before you post anything that a company would find questionable.”

The social media landscape lends itself to Identifying thought leaders and job search experts in your field. Find them and follow them. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these people as well with specific questions.2Many influencers post open jobs as well as offer job hunting tips across their social platforms.

Along with social networks, visit job sites. LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, Simply Hired, and Mighty Recruiter are all updated in real time. Ritlop recommends, “Set up Google alerts for industry competitors or leaders. Follow companies or thought leaders on LinkedIn and join LinkedIn Groups for your industry.”

“Even if you aren't trying to have a personal brand, as soon as you create a social media profile you have one.”

BE PREPARED

If you are in full job hunt mode, you never know when an opportunity could arise, and you don’t want to be left scrambling. Here is what you need:

  • Resume: Your resume should be flawless. It should be Beyoncé. It should also be accurate. Grammar and spelling should be on point, so check it over several times. Send it to your mom to proofread if you have to. We won’t tell! One bad “there” instead of “their” could leave you out of consideration. Check out Advanced Resume Writing for some more tips.
  • Cover letter: Yes, you still need a cover letter. The job market is competitive, so a cover letter is your chance to really shine. Have a few different templates and drafts on hand that you can spruce up and tailor to each application. Recruiters want to make sure you actually read the job description. They want to know why you’re a good fit.
  • Portfolio: Personal websites are common in industries where it’s important to showcase work—i.e. writing, graphic design, web design, photography, etc. However, more and more people outside of the arts are creating sites to showcase their work. As of now, 56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool. This number is certain to go up.3You can easily design one on sites like Squarespace. It’s guaranteed to impress your future employers.

USE YOUR NETWORK

As it's always been, networking is key. The difference now, is that there are tools to do it. This isn’t the time to be shy! Reach out to people that work in your desired industry. “Start by identifying a few companies you would like to work with, see if anyone in your existing network knows of any available positions, or if any of them have a contact at the company where you would like to work. Start with an informal coffee meeting with an employee and see if they can connect you with the right person in HR to discuss potential opportunities,” says Ritlop. Check out Fundamentals of Networking for a deeper dive.

You’ve got the flawless resume, the exemplary cover letter, the referral, the insider info from your network—it’s time to press send on that application. We know how nerve-racking that one little click can be, but the more applications you complete, the easier applying becomes. Job hunting requires patience, so don’t stress if you don’t immediately hear back.4These things can take time, but inquires are likely inevitable. It’s the law of averages!

KEYS TO JOB HUNTING

Use social media to your advantage

Prepare a flawless resume

Create a cover letter template

Network, network, network

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