With every year that goes by, technology continues to play a larger role in every part of our work lives, from the job search to our company culture, and that is truer today than ever before. With the arrival of COVID-19, fewer people are leaving home to hand out resumes, and employers are depending more on their own tech to find the best applicants. To stick out from the crowd, you have to be strategic and use the tools at your disposal to land the dream job.
The good news is that there are many programs and strategies to employ along the way that can help you stay organized, find the best jobs, and stay safe while doing it. Below are just a few of the many options.
Organizing Your Job Hunt
Staying organized during your job hunt is essential. You do not want to be sending a cover letter to the wrong place or not answering the phone for interviews because you don’t recognize the caller. Luckily, there are many tools to keep you organized, starting with Excel templates that you can download or create on your own. Use these to document the job, address, contact info, when you applied, how you applied, and more.
For a more automated approach, try an app like 44score, which is an application that you can attach to your internet browser. Once active, the app will keep track of all applications submitted, including the job name, the resume you presented, and the date you applied. Along with this, you should consider setting up job alerts on all job search sites that will send you an email whenever a new job is available that matches your skills and interests.
The beauty of technology is that it allows you to work from anywhere while having all of your tools available at the click of a button. Consider using a cloud-based app like Google Drive, where you can store all of your resumes, work samples, cover letters, your job application organizer, and anything else you need during the job search. This is especially handy because you never know where you will be when the perfect job listing comes around, and being one of the first to apply will give you a major leg up over the competition.
Online Techniques For Finding Jobs
Now you need to hit the road running and apply to the jobs that fit your needs. Start by getting online with LinkedIn where you can not only connect with other job seekers but also post your resume and then search for companies you want to connect with and send them a message. You can also set your account to “open to job opportunities” in the profile settings section, so recruiters with positions that match your skills can reach out directly.
When you are sharing your experience and applying to positions, you want to separate yourself from the crowd by having a professional resume that accounts for all work done in recent years while showcasing what you bring to the table. There are programs offered by most job sites that will help you with your resume, including one offered by Indeed that assists with formatting, and then customizes it as you apply to jobs on their platform.
The year 2020 has brought numerous changes, and many people have turned to self-employment positions, including driving services, virtual assistants, and freelance writers. Many of these are among the top remote positions in the US and are perfect for socially distanced work. If you’re working remotely as a self-employed individual, you will not only need to send proper invoices, so you’re correctly paid, but you will also want to account for these positions on your resume.
Some people are concerned that if they do freelance work between corporate jobs it will look like they were not employed during that time, but it all comes down to how the information is presented on your resume. Instead of just writing that you were self-employed during those times, put something specific. Add a real title that you can explain during the interview, like “virtual assistant for [insert company] or freelance web writer for a specific site. For extra proof of the work you completed, add references who can vouch for your efforts. Many HR teams are using AI and Applicant Tracking Systems to weed out the best resumes, and if yours is lacking details, it may place you in the “no” pile.
These days, companies are all about protecting their big data from cybercriminals, and you should do the same during your job hunt. The sad fact is that hackers are always watching, so you need to be careful about the information you share and how you share it. Since you are going to be uploading your resume to job sites and social networks, you need to be careful of what you have written on it. You don’t need to put your full mailing address or social security number on the resume or a job application, and if a company asks for it before you are hired, be wary.
In most cases, employers like to see an email address on a resume so they can reach out if necessary, but hackers can also see this information and use it with malicious intent. Hackers know that you are looking for a job, so they will sometimes send fake phishing emails that promise a great opportunity if you click a link or open an attachment. Avoid doing so at all costs because one click could unload malware onto your system. Some clues of a fake email might include:
- Several spelling errors in the subject or body.
- An exciting opportunity that you didn’t apply for.
- An email without contact information or a company that doesn’t exist when you search for it online.
It used to be that an email promising a work-from-home opportunity was too good to be true and likely a scam, but with more people working from home, the lines have become blurred. If a company looks sketchy, look them up online with the word “scam” after the company name. Another red flag is a company that tells you that you need to purchase software from them to get started. Be very wary of this company as most businesses will not ask for money from you during the interview stage.
The job hunt can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and a bit of tech, you can find that dream career faster than you might think.
- Tech & Software You Need for Job Hunting - July 24, 2020
- Why Big Data and AI are Important During the COVID-19 Battle - July 13, 2020
- Technology Changing the Digital Economy - June 17, 2020