job search

How The Job Search Process Has Changed

Ahem, The Job Search Process Has Changed

Remember when it was common for companies to hang a “Help Wanted” sign in their storefront when they were looking to hire? Ya, a lot sure has changed in the last ten years. In today’s fast technological times, where one can order a car or food instantly from their smartphone, it’s hard to fathom the job search process of the past. Thankfully, modern technology has changed the job search process for the better. However, how job seekers apply isn’t the only thing that has changed.

What Else Has Changed?

Jobs Are Now Online

The internet has revolutionized how job seekers and companies interact in the last decade. Job seekers can now access dozens of opportunities in just a few clicks of their mouse. Gone (but not forgotten) are the days of the “Help Wanted” sign.

Job Seekers Are Now Applying From Their Phones

The smartphone has enabled job seekers to easily apply for a job within seconds with minimal effort. While it’s a wonderful thing for candidates, this has created yet another issue for HR managers to overcome to continuously attract top talent. In short, companies have had to Go Mobile or Go Home. Making career pages mobile-optimized has become essential to attract quality candidates and rank higher in search results thanks to a clever algorithm put in place by Google.

Job Search Engines Offer More Opportunities

A decade ago, job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder were the go-to platform for job seekers. However, with the rise of platforms like Indeed job seekers now can search instantly across multiple company career pages with just one click of their mouse…err… smartphone.

How Employers Can Deal With The Ch-ch-ch-changes

So what can companies do to consistently attract superstar talent in today’s technology-driven job search process? Companies must make sure their virtual “Help Wanted” signs are seen on high-traffic job boards and then they must make it easy for applicants to apply from their phones by mobile-optimizing their job postings.

Want to learn more on how your company can attract superstar talent in these techy times? Download our free ebook now.

Go Mobile or Go Home

The way people search for jobs has changed, and to attract the quantity and quality of candidates you need for your open opportunities candidate experience needs to be taken seriously.  If employers don’t make it easy for candidates to apply, they won’t.

This begins with making your careers page and job applications mobile-friendly.  As we see mobile dominate our daily use – from checking email, sharing videos, and managing our social networks – it is also quickly becoming the preferred platform for job seekers. According to Indeed, 33% of job traffic was mobile in 2013, rising to 50% in 2014.  This year the numbers are only trending up as more and more candidates take advantage of their phones to job search on the go.  Another study conducted by Glassdoor found that 45% of job seekers use mobile to search for jobs at least once every day.  

Mobile-optimization is no longer a choice, but a necessity.  

Make it Easy

More and more employers are simplifying the first step of the hiring process, so an application can easily be completed from a mobile device.  Limit the information applicants need to input to the essentials, including just a few key screening questions.  Supplementary material can be completed as a later hiring stage.  

Make it Visible

Mobile-friendly sites don’t just make it easier on applicants, they make you more visible.  Google actually ranks mobile-optimized sites higher in their search algorithm, favoring the majority of users who now use their phones to run searches.  

Make it Stick

If job seekers can’t view your opportunity or if they can’t easily apply, you run the risk of qualified talent passing you by.  Relying on these potential applicants to find your opportunity later on a different device is a poor bet to place when it comes to building a strong team.  The more employers rely on potential candidates jumping through hoops before they even begin the hiring process, the more talent they will lose.

Mobile job seeking isn’t slowing down, so it’s time for employers to catch up.  Are your job postings mobile-friendly yet?

Want the full story? Download our free ebook here: How to Build a Talent Magnet

The Art of an Informational Interview

One of your most valuable tools as a job seeker is an informational interview. Not only is it great for networking, but it’s also a great tool for career exploration and job hunting.  People love to talk about themselves and their careers. All you have to do is ask! So making the effort to go out into the “field” and learn about careers straight from the source is definitely worth the time.

Who to Reach Out to

There are really no limits or boundaries when it comes to who you can ask for an informational interview. Start by asking your family and friends. Your brother might be a sales executive, but have you ever talked to him about his job from the perspective of a job seeker? Letting your family and friends know you are looking for connections can help to broaden your network. You might find out your neighbor has a brother who works at a global PR firm or your uncle’s colleague knows an executive at a tech startup. Use these connections! Take a look at your alma mater’s careers page as well. Many universities have a database of alumni in different fields who have offered themselves as resources for recent grads. Check to see if your school has one of these and do a LinkedIn search for specific people or alumni groups.

How to Prepare

Once you land an informational interview, start doing your research.  One thing you don’t want to do is waste your time asking basic background questions you could find answers to yourself. Research the company and the interviewee’s background. It’s ok to do some LinkedIn research and have a general idea of their career path. Maybe you’ll find out you have some common interests and can naturally work that into the conversation. It’s not a crime to make people like you and want to help you!

At the Interview

Prepare some insightful questions and be ready to take notes. If you feel comfortable, bring a copy of your resume for the interviewee to look over and critique. Ask for job information, advice, or referrals but please don’t ask for a job!

There are countless questions you can ask and some great guides you can find. Here are some that I’ve found helpful in the past:

10 Smart Questions That Make an Information Interview Valuable

Informational Interviewing: 200 Informational Interview Sample Questions

What to Ask in an Informational Interview

ThankYou

After the Interview

Make sure to send a follow up within a few days after the interview. Thank them for their help and for taking time out of their day. Try to mention something specific they said that was particularly helpful and don’t be afraid to ask them to keep you in mind if they come across any information that could help you in your career search.

Keep in touch and let them know on any new internships or jobs. You are now a part of their network and who knows, you might be giving an informational interview to someone in their network someday soon!

For more job seeking tips follow us on Twitter @CareerPlug

Taylor Wilson is CareerPlug’s Dedicated Account Specialist.  

Tips for Conducting an Effective Job Search

For whatever reason, it’s time to start looking for a new job. The job search process can be overwhelming but here are some quick tips to make sure you are searching in the most effective way possible!

Figure out what you want:

What are you looking for? This might seem like a basic question but it’s important to spend some time thinking about your hobbies, interests, and career goals. What are you good at? What are your strengths? What interests you?

Try to think about what you want for the future and not just on what you want right now. Isa Adney, author of Community College Success and the blog FirstJobOutofCollege.com, suggests applicants “focus less on how much you would love doing the functions of the job and focus more on where you will have the greatest opportunity to add value to the company, network with top people in your industry, and have the ability to get your foot in the door of a company that mostly hires internally.”

Be Proactive

Once you figure out what you are looking for, do some research to target companies and positions that sound interesting to you.  Follow companies on social media platforms like Twitter to get a better sense of their culture and take part in conversations related to your industry.

Use LinkedIn and your personal network to see if you have any connections to these companies. If so, reach out to see if you can obtain an informational interview; these types of meetings will give you the opportunity to learn more about the company. Keep in mind that many job openings aren’t advertised so this could be a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and let them know you are actively looking for work!

Update Your Resume

Take the time to not only detail what you did at each position, but what you accomplished. Including specifics about events like achieving goals or receiving recognition from the community helps show hiring managers you have the potential to succeed.

Expect to have more than one version of your resume. When a resume is tailored and as specific and relevant to the job, you can expect much better results.

resumecareerbuilder

Limit time on job boards

Blasting your resume to every single job board is not going to be the best use of your time. Think quality, not quantity. Apply directly on company websites, industry-specific job boards, or smaller and regional boards. Aggregator sites like Indeed.com and Simplyhired.com are great resources as well.

Once you find a specific job that interests you, pay attention to the details of the application. Go back and tailor your resume, write a cover letter if necessary and tell the company what specifically interests you about this position.

Start your search earlier!

The process of finding a job, applying, and going through multiple interview steps can be a lengthy process. Once I decided I wanted a new job, it took almost three months from the day I started looking to the day I accepted a position. Remember to stay positive! Anticipate the best and always display a mixture of professionalism and enthusiasm.

Seek professional development

Continue to seek professional development opportunities and increase your skills and experience while you are looking for a job. It’s important to improve your marketability, even while you are employed. Join a class, attend a workshop, or go to an industry conference. Take advantage of any opportunities that arise in your field…don’t get comfortable with your accomplishments!

Spend time networking with you peers, not just industry leaders.  These are the people who can offer honest assessments about your work and reputation when referring you for a job. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have additional connections to open doors during the job hunt!

For more job tips follow us on Twitter @CareerPlug!

Taylor Wilson is CareerPlug’s Dedicated Account Specialist.