Navigating job searches in the digital age

18 Jun 2024
It’s tough trying to find a job in today’s digital world. In the past, job adverts simply didn’t have the reach that they do today. The rise of the internet means a single job advert now has the potential to reach millions of people at the click of a button. Competition is fiercer than ever. So how do we navigate this bold new era? 

Search smart 

Make the most of job search websites and online job boards to find listings – but use these tools wisely. Using filters will enable you to sort the wheat from the chaff showing you only relevant jobs you are looking for. Create regular job alerts direct to your inbox. Set a geographical radius so you don’t get swamped with vacancies that are literally out of reach. You can also set preferences for a minimum salary to help weed out irrelevant roles. Targeting smaller, niche job boards that cater to specific industries or job types is another great way to narrow down your search.  

Optimise your online presence  

If you’re effectively ‘off grid’ online, employers might see you as a bit of an unknown quantity. Think about your online presence and how you can optimise it for success. Your LinkedIn profile and other social media platforms can help you to sell yourself in a more natural way than a CV ever could. Stand out from the crowd by consistently sharing your professional insights and achievements. Ensure your social media profiles are updated regularly and not left lying dormant. Engage with other people in your industry and celebrate their achievements. Show a genuine interest and they’ll likely reciprocate.  

Use social media wisely 

Review all your social media accounts and remove any content that might be considered unprofessional. When using social media in your private life, think about who might be able to access your profile. Even if your privacy settings are ramped up, anyone can find your profile picture, so keep it respectable.  

The importance of networking 

Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know, and that’s where networking comes in handy. Follow companies on platforms such as LinkedIn, X, Instagram and Facebook to learn about new openings. Engage with content relevant to your industry by commenting, liking, sharing, and posting your insights. By showing an interest in your industry, potential employers can see you’re genuine and have much to offer. 

Engage in professional development  

Everyone, no matter the level they have reached in their chosen career, is basically a work in progress. There is always something new to learn. Take online courses and earn certifications to enhance your skills. Post about it on your professional social media platforms to celebrate your hard work, showing potential employers that you’re prepared to go the extra mile. 

Reach out  

Don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals and recruiters in your network. Mutual contacts are also helpful. If one of your old workmates lands a job at a company you’d love to work for, they can give you a valuable insight into what it’s like. They may even help you get a foot in the door. Meanwhile if you’ve applied for a job and are playing the waiting game, there is no harm in contacting the employer with a polite request for an update.  

Tips for applying 

Found a job that looks the part? Great. Don’t wait for the closing date, apply as soon as possible. Some employers will shortlist applicants for the next stage of the job process before the application deadline. Read the job description carefully and craft a bespoke application, ensuring you cover all the requirements. Don’t forget to use relevant keywords on your CV, as employer might also be using an automated screening method. 

Stay positive 

The online world can feel a little isolating and dehumanising as there is a lack of face-to-face interaction. Don’t take it personally if you apply for a job and are not selected for an interview. It may be that you were a strong contender but missed the boat because the employer was overwhelmed with so many other great candidates. Ask for feedback, stay positive and don’t lose focus; the right opportunity could be just a click away. 

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