Getting Started on Your Job Search

January 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Posted by:  Heather Comstock

As many people have discovered in today’s economy, the rules for job searching have changed.  Today’s job search is all about the network. Pinnacle Empowerment Center’s Career Coach Cindy Virtue explains what has changed.

Be comfortable with computers Almost every job application today involves submission via computers, even entry level positions.  Be sure you have an email address and check it regularly.  Free email accounts are available from Yahoo, Hotmail, or Google.  Cindy told me that employers have more applicants than jobs.  If you’re not responding to emails, they’re moving on to the next candidate.  Keep your account name is professional – save “catlover27” for something else!  All public libraries in the area offer free access to computers and the internet at their branches.  Anne Arundel County Library offers some basic tutorials.

Linked In is the ubiquitous tool of job seekers and the currently employed alike.  According to Cindy, Linked In gives you networking leverage because it allows recruiters to find you and employers are now reviewing Linked In profiles of potential interviewees.  Cindy recommends that no matter your employment status, keep your profile up to date and use key words that employers are searching. For moms and caregivers thinking of returning to the workforce, a Linked In profile is a great way to get started organizing your skills and experiences, particularly volunteer work.  In the event of an unexpected layoff, having a current profile is one less thing you have to pull together to get started job searching.  Linked In allows you to join discussion groups and companies enhancing your networking and providing great information.

Other Social Media While Linked In can be your Professional Image, understand that your other social media profiles reflect upon you as well.  If your Facebook account is more personal, use your privacy settings and Groups to keep your information restricted.  Do use a good profile picture as you don’t want a potential employer to stumble across you looking irresponsible. Twitter is a great way to follow leaders and companies in your industry and watch for trends and patterns.

Resumes No longer are you randomly distributing scads of paper resumes.  You need to tailor your resume for each position.  Employers are looking for demonstrated performance in areas that match the position description.  Cindy notes that you don’t need to include your full street address – a phone number and email address are enough and objective statements just create clutter.

Volunteer Accomplishments Don’t forget your volunteer work!  Think about the skills and experiences you have from chairing the local PTA or your fundraising or special events committee service for the local homeless shelter.  Cindy notes that volunteering is a great way to fill resume gaps and a good networking tool.  For opportunities check out Volunteer Howard or volunteer with us!

For more information on Job Searching, join Cindy on Friday, January 27th at 10:00 for “Successful Job Search Strategies for 2012”.  For more information and registration, click here.


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