Looking for work is never easy. Employers have specific skill sets and characteristics they’re looking for, and just because you have them, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the gig.
Still, as Career Sherpa blogger Hannah Morgan writes in a U.S. News & World Report post titled “6 Changes You Should Make to Your Job Search,” there are things you can do to boost your chances of getting called in for an interview. Most involve changing your mindset and getting in step with the times, and they’re all terrific pieces of advice.
First up: moving away from job boards. These days, Morgan says, most employers find new hires via referrals, and while you should still peruse job boards, the smart play is to use postings to figure out what skills you need and which companies you want to work for. After that, start reaching out to people and try get a referral from someone on the inside.
Morgan’s next tip is to use recruiters and understand how they work. Recruiters work for companies, not jobseekers, so it’s on you to seek them out, be clear about the kinds of positions you’re looking for, alert them to opportunities that meet your criteria, and follow up after you make initial contact.
“Remember,” Morgan warns, “there is one recruiter for hundreds of job seekers.”
Tip No. 3 is to “network the right way.” As Morgan writes, networking doesn’t mean simply jumping on Facebook and asking all your friends to hit you back with job opportunities. You’ve got to have patience and really build relationships. Read up on industry trends, share with former colleagues and new contacts what you’ve accomplished, and be prepared to offer help to others without getting anything in return. It might take time, but proper networking yields results.
So does social media, provided you use it correctly. That’s Morgan’s next tip, and she’s got numbers to back it up. According to Jobvite’s 2015 Job Seeker Nation study, 67 percent of people use Facebook to search for a job, while only 40 percent use LinkedIn. Facebook allows you to “like” companies’ career pages and get involved in discussions that could lead to opportunities later on. Similarly, with Twitter, you can follow companies and their employees and get involved in chats and other events. Of course, you should be mindful of your social footprint — that means checking privacy settings and deleting embarrassing old posts — and always remember to be active. Lurking will get you nowhere.
On a related note, Morgan’s fifth tip is to join online talent communities, or “interactive, two-way streams of communication between employers and people interested in working for those companies.” These exist on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms, and they’re a fantastic way for employers to seek out new hires.
Finally, Morgan is a firm believer in learning from others. The Internet is filled with networking groups for jobseekers, and they’re a good way to build relationships, find out what your peers are doing right and wrong, and gain a little moral support. It also helps to read career-advice sites like this one — and to always keep a positive attitude, no matter how frustrated you get.