Recently, I have had some interesting conversations with several job seekers regarding different aspects of the job search. A common thread through many of these conversations was the need for job seekers to make use of technology in assisting them in securing their next job. Whether it is used to assist in identifying potential employers or in preparing for a scheduled interview, the need to use technology is a given.
For example, I was discussing cover letter preparation with a candidate who had heard about a specific opening at a competitor. He was given the name of the hiring manager and told a bit about the position. He wanted my assistance in preparing the cover letter. I asked him about the background of the interviewer, i.e., where he had gone to school, worked previously, hoping to find a commonality between the manager and the candidate that I could reference in the letter. The candidate responded that he had no idea and seemed surprised when I asked if he had googled the manager and the potential employer. Obviously, he hadn’t! The internet is there for us to use!! If you google a potential hiring manager and the potential employer you may learn valuable information that may help you get the job. You may know someone who went to the same school or worked at the same prior employer as the manager who you can then ask to put in a good word for you. You may learn something about the potential employer that you can reference in a cover letter to show that you have done your research. In this day and age, if you come to an interview without having done internet research it may be held against you – you will appear unprepared. Don’t let that happen.
Another use of the internet is to identify potential employers. I’m not referring to typical job boards but rather to discovering specific companies that may interest you and then doing a direct marketing campaign – contacting people within the organization and inquiring if there may be an opening or if you can come in and meet with them. Not all positions are posted on job boards. You can become the right person at the right time if you take the time to call a company after researching them on-line. If you discover information about a specific project or deal they are working on or a specialty that they have and you call and explain how your background would be beneficial to them, you may land yourself a new job! Cold calling may not be effective but “targeted” calling armed with properly researched information can be.
Be creative! Try different tactics! You never know what might make the difference!