Today’s job search is far removed from the traditional strategies of looking through the wanted ads in the paper and putting your CV in the post. Today’s market has a plethora of jobs online, with the possibility to view and apply for practically any job in the world at the click of a button.
Though this has increased the amount of jobs, it’s also increased the amount of applicants. With so many people applying to jobs, how do you stand out from the crowd? Here are some ways to increase your job prospects – using the Internet:
Make a name for yourself on social media
Social media doesn’t just have to be used for telling your friends what you had for lunch – you can use it to get an edge on your competitors. If you have an area of expertise, or want to work in a specific industry, use social media like Twitter and Facebook to write about things happening in the industry and offer opinions. Gradually, you should get more followers and have more people aware of your knowledge and clout – something employers will like.
Check your profiles before an application
One of social media’s biggest strengths is also one of its biggest weaknesses – it allows people to see everything you’ve posted. While this can be good for increasing the amount of followers you have, it also means that potential employers can have a quick check of your online presence and see if you’ve posted anything questionable. If you’re a bit unsure about whether or not you should have posted something, it might be best to get rid of it.
Set up a website
A website is a home for your online presence, and somewhere you can use as an online portfolio – something that’s especially useful if you work in an industry in which you produce something. Writers, photographers, designers, and other creative people will all benefit from having a regularly-updated, easy to read website with all your best work on it as it allows potential employers to get a feel for your skill and style.
Don’t underestimate branding
All companies use branding – be it the same font and color in all their promotional materials or a consistent image and tone across their entire company – and there’s a reason for it. If you have a brand, you’re committing to a single, predictable style, and this is something that helps you stand out for being you. If you have a consistent tone across all your tweets, updates, website and anything else associated with you, potential employers will quickly A) be able to recognize your tone and B) see that you appreciate branding – something that might be useful in their company.
Consider ‘Extreme job hunting’
So, you’ve found your voice on social media, kept it consistent on your website, and checked to make sure you don’t have anything damaging associated to your name – what do you do when you want to apply for a job?
With so many people applying for jobs, some people have taken “standing out from the crowd” to a whole new level, giving birth to the phenomenon known as “extreme job hunting.”
Extreme job hunting is where people stand out from the crowd in their job application by doing outlandish and unheard of things, like taking out a billboard with your face and website on – something Adam Pacitti did – or sending you CV in a piñata – something Dan Conway of The Extreme Job Hunter has done.
“You have to have an edge that makes you stand out. Using extreme job hunting tactics can give you that edge if done right,” Dan explains on his job hunting campaign. This was a campaign in which he set up a website and branded himself as The Extreme Job Hunter, then completed various stunts to increase knowledge of his hunt for employment. This ultimately worked, as he ended up with a job for US-based Vitamins Direct.
Adam had a similar story – applying for hundreds of jobs with no luck – so hired a billboard and plastered his face on it to make more people aware of his job hunt. Though feedback was slightly varied “One guy threatened to burn down my house. He didn’t like my supposed self-entitlement or my big nose” he says it did go well “people were able to empathize with my situation and realized that I just wanted a chance to prove myself.”
The Internet is one of the most powerful tools to use in your job hunt and, if done in the right way, can make you an unbeatable candidate. To find out more about how to use the Internet to help your job opportunities, read this guide here.
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