Changing with the Times

Old Apple II computer

Julie Walraven wrote a post last month about the importance of accessibility and how not being easy to reach could hurt your job search. It reflects badly on you if a prospective employer is trying to contact you (e.g. could raise red flags about your reliability), or, if you are working with a résumé writer or career coach and don’t get back to them in a timely manner, it could result in a missed opportunity .

One other thing that she said stuck out to me: “I know people who would rather be more private.

That got me thinking about job seekers who are reluctant to use social media as a significant part of their job search. Unfortunately, there are still quite a few people that fall in that category, even some who are in their 20s. Staying away from social media or having a minimal presence online is a bad idea.

The reality is that companies are Googling candidates. It’s not a matter of if they will search for information about you online. It’s a matter of when.

If a company Googles a candidate who is not online, two things can happen:

1) The company finds nothing about you. With recent numbers estimating that there are still more than five candidates for every job opening, that could be problematic. Suppose the company finds encouraging information online about three of the candidates? You guessed it — those three candidates will be the first ones contacted for interviews.

2) They find find information about a person who has the same name as you. This is a big issue because you have no control over what someone else with your name may have done.

In addition, the lack of an online presence can indicate issues with accepting change. In a recent post, Billy Cox said, “The individuals who embrace change with a constant improvement attitude have an advantage over their competition.”

Facing the reality of a 21st century job search by using tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter to promote yourself goes a long way in communicating your ability to adapt to a changing environment. Conversely, trying to forge ahead without them makes you seem like an old albatross.

How are you using social media to keep pace with other job candidates? Or are you falling behind?

Image courtesy of gmahender

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