As if job hunting wasn’t hard enough already, the Internet has added a few new twists to the process. Specifically, there are now more ways to shoot yourself in the foot. Beware of these digital faux pas:
Not having an electronic version of your résumé. Savvy job hunters go a step further and put their résumés in PDF format. These look more professional and they can’t be altered.
A silly E-mail address. If your E-mail is something like "ilovekittycats," you’ll appear unserious and unprofessional. ( Also, did you know some hiring managers say an AOL account makes you look out of touch? It’s true.)
Not being on LinkedIn (or whatever networking sites relevant to your field), not keeping your profile current, and not having two or three good recommendations.
Incriminating photos or information on Facebook/MySpace/etc. Guarantee: Potential employers are going to Google you. Clean up your online rep!
Same goes for Twitter or your blog. Refrain from snarking about your current or former boss. Never write anything that makes you look dishonest, unintelligent, or crazy.
Sending E-mail blasts. No one likes getting anonymous mass E-mails, including HR managers.
Exclusively relying on online job-listings. Make the six-degrees-of-separation idea work for you and identify jobs before they’re advertised. And then be the only applicant.
Meanwhile, the basics of job-hunting remain the same: network like mad, treat your job search like a job, always send a thank-you note. That’s the good news. Hang in there.
Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009. She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com .