If it has been a while since you looked for a job, you might need to give some thought to using a 21st century job hunting strategy.
Using a 21st Century Job Hunting Strategy
For decades, people have said that the keys to finding a new job are being in the right place at the right time, and knowing the right people. This conventional wisdom about looking for a job still holds true in the 21st century. However, there are many different ways to position yourself today than in decades past.
Online Job Search Engines
Many employers are harnessing the power of the Internet to advertise their available positions. During the 20th century, traditional newspaper classified advertisements were often the best way to find out about open positions. While some companies do still use newspapers, especially when looking for local candidates, it's becoming more and more common for businesses to do the majority of their "help wanted" advertising via the Internet.
Online Help Wanted Ads are Cost Effective
Many employers find that advertising for employees online is much less expensive than placing advertisements in local, regional, or national newspapers. Often companies are allowed to post an unlimited number of online job listings for a single fee, whereas newspapers require them to pay by the word. Many organizations find that job search engines like Monster, Yahoo! Careers, and Career Builder are excellent recruiting bargains.
Extended Reach With Online Help Wanted Ads
Depending on the types of jobs a company needs to fill, it can be common to find a higher caliber of applicant with online job postings. Companies who are hiring for high level professional and technical jobs are often looking for individuals who fit the profile of frequent Internet users. Additionally, instead of just reaching people in the local area, online advertising allows employers to expand their recruiting pool to include national and even international candidates.
Posting Your Resume Online
Many job hunters find it to be very beneficial to post their resumes on web-based job portals. In addition to using online job sites to advertise positions, hiring managers for companies sometimes search candidate databases to look for people who might be suitable for the openings they have.
In addition to using online job search engines, it's becoming more common for companies to post job openings on their own websites. Some companies only accept applications via their websites. Others use the Internet for initial candidate screening, then invite qualified applicants to submit detailed applications at a later date.
If there is a particular company you are interested in working with, visiting the organization's website before you do anything else is an excellent 21st century job hunting strategy. You'll likely learn a great deal about the company, and you may even be able to complete the application process immediately. Many companies allow interested parties to register to receive job updates any time new positions that match their interests and qualifications are posted.
Many companies announce open positions to local professional association memberships before advertising them to the general public. One of the best ways to make sure you get to know the right people when looking for a job is to join professional organizations that attract people who work in the field that interests you.
Local professional associations are rich resources for both professional development activities and job contacts. For example, if you want to work in human resources management, get involved with the local Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) chapter in your area. The Mobile, AL SHRM group, for example, has a job openings section on its website, where companies in the regions are allowed to advertise open HR positions free.
Many people find that getting involved with business-oriented social networking groups can also be an excellent way to learn about job opportunities. Linked In is a business-oriented social networking site where you can connect with current and past colleagues and reach out to new people with common interests. Many companies market their job openings via Linked In, so participating in the community can be a good way to find out about job openings in your field.
Finding a Job in the 21st Century
Using the Internet and growing your professional network are important parts of any successful 21st century job hunting strategy. Keep in mind, however, that finding job openings is only a part of the process of getting a new job. You'll still need a winning resume and cover letter, and you'll need to make sure your job interviewing skills are polished and professional before you start speaking with prospective employers.