Welcome to the second of my two-part series of commentaries and tips on using the Internet to get a new job.
Seeing & Being Seen
One absolutely essential factor in whether or not you use the Internet successfully to get a new job is seeing others online who are seeking new jobs and being seen online by those who are hiring people for new jobs. This may seem obvious, but it is possible to fall into the trap of thinking that all one needs to do is post a resume somewhere online and the hiring managers will beat a path to your door. If you are someone who believes that you’re all set with your online search for a new job because you posted your resume online, you are kidding yourself. This I promise you.
Not so long ago, it was possible to get a new job by searching through print newspapers in the classified ads section. In the past we didn’t have to specify print newspapers because those were the only kind.
I got a new job in Arizona 20 years ago by searching through the print version of the Arizona Republic in their classified ads section. Twenty years ago things were very different from today when it came to finding a new job. What worked then likely won’t work now.
Here’s what my experience was two decades ago: I saw a job posting for a job in Arizona that was posted by an Arizona cable television company in that famous Phoenix newspaper. I sent in a hard-copy cover letter and resume through the US Postal Service. I received a phone call from the hiring manager. I was interviewed. Then, I was offered the job.
Whether any of us workers who are over the age of 40 today want to believe it or not, that particular process of using a print newspaper and sending a cover letter/resume through snail mail (a.k.a. the US Postal Service) is outmoded in 2012. Don’t use this method if you want to succeed in getting a new job today.
What has replaced that outmoded method is networking–both in person and in the virtual realm online. Keep in mind that networking today means having meaningful interaction with other human beings. Networking is a two-way street that involves ongoing contact with other people.
Best Practice for Online Networking
I previously mentioned LinkedIn as one essential online venue where all serious job seekers today need to be. The powerful “secret” about LinkedIn that I will share with you is this: On LinkedIn you can sign up for groups that match your professional interests and your career goals. By looking at the job postings within these LinkedIn groups, you can make a highly pinpointed search for a new job.
I have one specific recommendation for all who are age 40 and over who are seeking a new job: Join the Work Reimagined group on LinkedIn and become a regular participant. Why? This particular LinkedIn group is operated by AARP, which is one strong player in advocating for the advancement of older workers.
I want to let you know that AARP was a former employer of mine up through 2006. I receive no financial or other consideration from AARP for mentioning them or their Work Reimagined efforts.
The justification for you to get involved in this (or any other LinkedIn) group is for you to have a highly credible place to have meaningful interaction with others who, like you, are seeking a new job. By participating in LinkedIn groups, you will increase your exposure to hiring managers who use LinkedIn to identify candidates to fill openings for new employees. If you are not already on LinkedIn, you need to sign up today.
In my next blog post, I will cover what it is that you can do for others in your career that makes you unique compared to every other person. I will show you how to put this specific awareness to work so you can create or fix your personal brand for optimum results.