It's 2012, and with the new year hopefully comes a new attitude: a revitalized spirit, gusto and determination to make this the year you make a change. With the evolution of job hunting over the past few years, it's good to think about what will make the biggest impact in landing a job this year.
The job market is still tough. But with the right tools, you can improve your search, broaden your networking opportunities and align yourself with a career that fits your skills.
Tip #1: It’s all about social media.
Job hunting has become all about leveraging social media channels to find your next position. More than 18 million Americans can thank Facebook for helping them land their current job; eight million credit Twitter and 10.2 million used LinkedIn. Clearly, social media sites are THE places to look for employment these days.
- Make sure you have a basic understanding of the target audiences for each social media channel.
- While Facebook may primarily serve as your place to engage with friends, the BranchOut app shows your professional face to your connections.
- Twitter allows you to broadcast to a large number of people, but most information is publicly available.
- LinkedIn is for communicating with professional contacts you’ve made through your career, people you may not be comfortable adding on Facebook.
- Follow companies that interest you, as this will keep you in the loop on their activities and also give you a chance to directly interact with them.
TIp #2: A favorable online identity will be key to employment success.
With social networking playing an increasingly important role in the employment process, it’s important not only to clearly identify which networks you want to participate in, but to mold your online identities accordingly. More than 90 percent of recruiters check social networks before hiring a candidate, which means that your online persona should properly represent who you are offline and show that you’re the right person for the job.
- Activate the correct privacy settings, especially on Facebook, and hide images or comments that you don’t want a future employer to see.
- Your public identity is an extension of your resume. Therefore, keep your public posts as professional as possible.
Tip #3: Go mobile.
The explosion of mobile usage is only going to grow in 2012, causing a shift in the way people exchange information. The ever-increasing use of smartphones means people are foregoing traditional networking avenues in favor of connecting digitally. More than 75 percent of jobseekers are already incorporating mobile apps into their searches, and this figure will undoubtedly rise in the coming year.
- Use QR (quick response) codes to quickly share your personal information and link to your social networks.
- Download apps on your mobile device that allow you to instantly exchange contact information with new people. Four good ones to try are Bump, Google Goggles, Pocket Resume and Resume Bear.
Happy New Year and good luck on your job search!