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Work Smarter, Not Harder, to Find Your Next Job with These Resources

February 2017 - By Erica Woods and Cate Murray

How job seekers identify and pursue jobs is considerably different from even 5 years ago! New platforms have provided additional resources, new tools have provided advantages (if you know what they are and how to use them), and both job seekers and the potential employers they’re trying to get an interview with have a wealth of information about each other at the click of a ‘Search’ button.

According to one CareerBuilder study, candidates use an average of 16 resources when looking for their next job. Some key resources, such as identifying companies through online ads, networking and community involvement, have remained the same. However, new job searching resources have launched, others have grown in popularity, and the process of using others has changed! Here are some recommended resources, along with a few best practices for utilizing.

1. Sign up for job alerts, and optimize applications.
This is an easy, customized to your job specifications way to get real-time notifications when new jobs matching your criteria are posted. Job alerts are available through many of the main job boards, LinkedIn, and companies. Join the Apex Talent Network/Job Portal via http://itcareers.apexsystems.com/. When applying for a position, help increase the chance that your resume will be seen by optimizing it for the role you’re applying for! You can do this organically by reviewing your resume against the key responsibilities and requirements of the job and adding more of the relevant pieces you’ve done, and/or you can use a Resume Optimization tool such as JobScan to give you pointers.

When using a Resume Optimization tool, your first few times are typically free. We’ve also set up a 20% discount with JobScan, which you can access via http://www.jobscan.co/promo/apex.

2. Partner with Recruiters.
Building a relationship, communicating clear preferences and goals, and keeping lines of communication open with 1-2 tenured Recruiters at reputable staffing firms who support a good client base in your area can be incredibly beneficial to your job search, and help minimize your anxiety level throughout the process. If local, make an effort to meet them in person to further build a relationship and trust. They will be a better partner to you if they get to know you in person, and studies have shown that your relationship can be positively impacted by 55% if you meet someone in person. If that’s not possible, request a Skype or FaceTime. Treat Recruiters as “Job Search Consultants,” especially if they’ve been recruiting for a few years. Tenured Recruiters typically know the best resources for you to utilize, effective ways to professionally market yourself, quality companies that have the types of positions you’re looking for, and can provide additional career coaching and job searching advice!

3. Seek help from your network.
We can’t stress this enough, but your network can be a huge advantage when looking for a new job / career! Think of former co-workers, community members, friends, neighbors, etc. that work at a company or work in a role that you admire. Reach out to them, and inquire on things like: Are there any openings at their company? Do they know of any similar clients that are hiring? Would they be willing to put you in touch with someone directly at the company? Do they have any other suggestions?

4. LinkedIn.
There are at least 5 ways you can leverage LinkedIn for job searching, such as signing up for alerts, using advanced search, reviewing job discussions in the groups you’re in, reviewing company pages of the firms you’re targeting, and simply adding ‘Seeking New Opportunity’ to the tag line of your LI profile. Also, view your LI profile as a professional branding channel, and ensure your profile has a great picture, skills summary, skills/technologies, recommendations, examples of work you’re allowed to share, and any other sections that might be relevant. Remember, LinkedIn is one of the top resources Recruiters and other hiring Managers use for both identifying candidates and screening them out. Once you have a quality LinkedIn profile that paints you in a positive light, leverage LI for identifying jobs and helping Recruiters find you.

5. Facebook
Like LinkedIn, there are various ways you can use Facebook for your job search. Many cities now have groups dedicated to job postings; ‘DC Tech Jobs’ is one example. If you have companies you’re targeting, you can keep a pulse on their page and/or reach out via Chat to express interest. However, the biggest benefits of FB for the job search process have yet to be realized as of the date of this post, as Facebook just introduced a more robust job posting feature for companies mid-February, sending an email announcement out February 23rd!

6. Utilize other social media channels.
In addition to LinkedIn and Facebook, remember that platforms like Twitter can also provide solid job leads, and others like Instagram and SnapChat will likely start to feature more jobs at some point in their evolution. Since hashtags are now recognized across most platforms, try to identify a few of the most relevant hashtags for jobs in your skill set, and do some searches on the platforms you’re on. For example, if you’re a Developer with a focus on Java, you will quickly discover that savvy employers use #JavaJobs when posting positions via Twitter.

7. Increase user group/association attendance.
Attending relevant IT User Group/MeetUp meetings is great for many reasons, including expanding your knowledge base on the types of skills/technologies employers are starting to adopt and seeking candidates with, networking, and company prospecting. Most sponsors at your local user groups/technical community events are sponsoring because they hire the types of people who attend those meetings!

8. Apply through corporate websites.
Most companies will publish their available jobs via resources like Indeed and LinkedIn, but some still rely solely on their website. If you determine a company you’d like to work for, go directly to their website and see what jobs they have available. Remember the power of using a Recruiter to “bridge the gap” here! If you identify available jobs, call the Recruiter/s you trust and have a strong relationship with, and ask them if they have a contact and/or relationship with that company, and honestly, the strength of that relationship. Any time you can use a common connection to get your resume submitted, the more likely it is for your resume to be seen and strongly considered.

9. Post your resume.
If you’re actively looking (not passively), and you want to communicate your job search to the masses, upload your resume on job boards. Ask folks in your network for recommendations on any sites they’ve found success with. Also, be as clear as possible about what you’re looking for, to help minimize calls about non-relevant jobs or jobs way outside your location or salary ranges!

10. Attend Career Fairs.
It’s common to associate career fairs with college, but there are actually quite a lot of job fairs available for the working professional. We’ve seen prominent user groups hold annual job fairs and workshops, and most major cities have regular offerings too. You can search “Upcoming Job Fairs” or “Career Fair Event Calendar” in your area to see what’s available! Attending a job fair is a great way to learn more about a company than what you might find on their website. You can talk to a client representative (typically someone in HR or Recruiting) directly about openings, benefits, company goals and directives, and what they look for in applicants. And since job fairs tend to offer a more relaxed environment (although you should still plan to dress to impress), this is a fantastic time to hone your interviewing skills.

11. Online searches.
Simply putting “Project Manager jobs in Tampa” in a search engine can help you quickly uncover job leads. One of our .NET focused Recruiters once had a Developer contact her, and he referenced that he had Googled “.NET Developer jobs in Baltimore,” and her name came up associated with several related job postings. She was able to get him considered for several positions, and he had a job offer within a week! Always think through how you can get connected with the people who will be in the best position to help you.

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