If you've been looking for a job and not getting any interviews, it's possible that you may be making typical job seeker mistakes. You may not be tapping into the best practices when it comes to applying for a job online. If it's been a while since you've looked for a job, you may be surprised to learn how much things have changed. If you don't know the rules to help you apply effectively, you could be very well-qualified for positions, but never have a chance to interview for them.
Pete Kazanjy, co-founder of TalentBin, a talent search engine for the entire Web, offers these tips to help:
1. Become one of the hunted. Companies are looking for the best, and they aren't necessarily sitting around and waiting to see who applies for their job opportunities. Kazanjy notes that companies are actually proactively searching for the best employees to work for them – whether you're currently looking for a job or not. "We are living in a time where recruiters and employers directly reach out to those candidates they are interested in – and that is a good thing," he explains. "They offer to bring job seekers a better job or career opportunity and have already done a bit of research about you and believe you'll be a good fit for them, putting the odds in your favor of landing that job if you choose to pursue it."
If you want to be on the radar of employers who are looking for you, be sure to make your presence known. This includes getting involved and actively participating in all types of events, both in person and online. Look for Meetups, Twitter chats and blogs where you can comment, and join groups on LinkedIn and communities via Google+. Some recruiters have been known to troll gaming sites for technology-oriented hires. Maintain a presence on the best websites and social media sites for your field and demonstrate your keen knowledge of your subject matter.
2. Form a relationship. Kazanjy notes that traditional tools from the sales industry, such as customer relationship management, are now expanded to benefit human resources and recruiting professionals so they can better manage relationships with potential candidates. He explains: "Talent search platforms, such as TalentBin, are evolving to include rCRM [recruiting customer relationship management]. These tools help employers see what you're doing online, but also allow them to directly reach out to targeted hires on social media platforms. This pipeline management layer allows recruiters to create more meaningful, well-rounded relationships with potential candidates as everything is tracked for them in just one place – making it easier for them to reference new skills you may have developed since you last corresponded."
When you engage with recruiters and potential employers, you can demonstrate what you offer in a three-dimensional way that you may not be able to present in just a résumé. These online conversations also give you a chance to show off your communication skills. "Employers like to see you are prompt, grammatically correct and engaging in back-and-forth conversation," Kazanjy says.
3. Put your best digital footprint forward. As technology evolves and social recruiting becomes more popular, recruiters track your digital footprints. However, they aren't necessarily only looking for negative information. Traditional media outlets love to showcase examples of how employees can lose opportunities via social media errors. "They're also looking to find out what you're passionate about and if you actively engage on social media sites," Kazanjy notes. "They check if you're on Twitter, LinkedIn and more, most often looking to see if you share industry news or follow industry leaders, if you participate on forums and if you join and attend Meetup group events. Showing an interest and 'community participation' through your social media life proves your dedication and motivation to learn and grow."
This online activity demonstrates confidence and appeals to employers who seek candidates who demonstrate critical thinking and written persuasion capabilities. Online activity also demonstrates your ability to use new technology, including social media, beyond chatting with your friends. Meanwhile, talent search functionalities allow recruiters and companies to find and make sense of all this data.
Don't miss the opportunity to use social media to attract employers, as they are shifting their approaches and will be thrilled to meet engaged and interesting candidates online.
Miriam Salpeter is a job search and social media consultant, career coach, author, speaker, resume writer, and owner of Keppie Careers. She is author of Social Networking for Career Success and 100 Conversations for Career Success. Miriam teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to incorporate social media tools along with traditional strategies to reach their goals.