Job seekers beware, as recruiters, are moving away from the traditional online job boards. This is according to according to Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH).
Their study over 1,200 job seekers in the United States who received career services through their firm.
The survey found that networking is the most effective source of finding a new job for 75% of job seekers in 2011.
Only 11% sourced new positions through job boards and career websites.
While online job boards can help identify opportunities, technology alone isn’t going to result in an offer.
(This might answer your question: Why am I using social media to find a job with no luck?)
Job seekers still need a clear plan based on their unique career goals and current market realities, supported by a professional network to help open doors.
They also need a strong resume / CV that articulates the value they bring to an organization.
Persuasive interviewing skills that will lead to an offer is of utmost importance as well. These aren’t skills you can hone on your computer or access from the cloud.
Recruiters: technology alone isn’t the best approach
Most HR professionals and recruiters agree that technology alone isn’t the best approach to finding a new job.
In the research conducted by Lee Hecht Harrison on severance and separation practices, 79% of respondents identified a blend of in-person resources and technology as most important to their organization’s outplacement program. Mere 2% cited technology as the most important resource.
When job seekers rely too heavily on technology, they face 3 main challenges:
1 – Lack of differentiation
Competition is fierce and hundreds — if not thousands — of job seekers may be responding to the same job posting.
This makes it much more difficult to get the attention of a potential employer. To stand above the crowd, job seekers should tap their network for personal recommendations so that they’re not an anonymous piece of paper.
2 – Recruiters are moving away from online job boards
Job boards are becoming increasingly irrelevant as recruiters shift their focus towards other professional-based networking sites to scope out potential hires.
Job seekers must manage their online presence carefully and present themselves in a positive light so that they make the best impression online to potential employers.
3 – A passive job search may mean a longer job search
While online job boards are a good resource, job seekers must avoid becoming distracted by job board activity and focus on more productive activities.
- Attending networking meetings.
- Joining professional groups.
- Learning new skills or volunteering.
Waiting for an opening will not help a job seeker land a job as quickly as they’d like.
Read also: How to write your professional CV
Recruiters: Networking and peer to peer connections prevail
Recruiters still agree that networking — connecting with people (i.e. friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances) who share common interests — will continue to be the best way to find a job.
A combination of in-person networking along with online social networking is today’s most efficient method to connect with the world.
This allows job seekers to reach an incredibly large number of people who can help draw attention to them and their expertise while facilitating the real life connections that will advance their careers.
Social Networking Key To Landing a Job
According to the ExecuNet report, which surveyed 3,785 executives and nearly 600 recruiters, 1-in-4 executives placed into companies by search firms in 2012 were originally identified or contacted through a social network.
Additionally, 60% of all executives believe being visible online to the right people contributes to their professional success. [Source]
45% of the executives surveyed said niche professional circles are where they make the most valued connections, as opposed to large, popular networks.
Recruiters seeking talent are spending far less time processing applications of unknown candidates.
Instead, they’re active in industry communities, functional area groups and executive networks. They are seeking to personally connect with or be referred to top performers.
So what do executives who want a piece of the hiring action need to do?
- Move in circles of people who do the work you want to do.
- Share your experiences, so others can get to know you.
- Build your social capital by becoming known as a source for valuable content. That often leads to opportunities with others in their circles.
- Have a keyword-rich, online profile that demonstrates not only what you’ve accomplished, but what you can offer future employers.
Recruiters are searching for demonstrations of thought leadership, network connections, online recommendations, press releases, civic and volunteer activities.
Presenting a holistic view of yourself as a leader will elevate your candidacy.
Read also: Seeking a job in the Middle East? Read here
Job Search on mobile phones and tablets is on the rise in the US
According to Snagajob.com, a US employment marketplace, smartphones are proving to be an increasingly common tool for the job hunt.
This is according to a report by Snagajob titled Counter Intelligence, based on data captured from its website from April 2012 through March 2013.
No surprise there. With all those job search apps available for smartphones and tablets.
Smart phones supersedes tablets for one basic reason. It’s much easier to make a phone call off a mobile phone than a tablet. When you find the perfect job, you need to make that call right away.
Strategies to improve your job search success
According to Alexandra Levit, from Career Advisory, one needs to gain valuable experience and improve workplace competencies to succeed in landing the perfect job.
Levit offers the following strategies to help job candidates improve their visibility to recruiters, and they are:
1 – Demonstrate a mastery of critical skills
Before diving into a job search, it’s important to take a step back and examine your capabilities from the perspective of a hiring manager and the recruiter:
- Think about the job and how your qualifications meet the specific needs of the position, and identify areas where you can illustrate quantifiable results
- If entering a new field, create a skills-based resume that highlights specific capabilities relevant for the job
2 – Increase repertoire of capabilities
To obtain valuable and relevant experience, take ownership of your development. Look for opportunities to improve your core competencies. Learn those skill sets that are valued by employers and hiring managers.
If you are unemployed:
- Seek an internship or volunteer opportunity to gain critical real-world knowledge
- Expand your professional network
- Clearly demonstrate your proficiency of these newly-acquired skills to your prospective employer
- Explain how they can be transferred to the new workplace
If you are employed:
- Take advantage of corporate training programs to improve communication skills and problem-solving abilities
- Pursue stretch assignments that will challenge you to learn and grow in your field
3 – Develop your personal brand
A strong and memorable personal brand that captures the attention of prospective employers on social networking sites (such as Linkedin) will set you apart from the competition.
- Identify your unique talents, what you are passionate about and the type of expertise you can bring to employers
- Ensure that your social media profile and in-person networking reflects your personal brand
- Foster relationships through alumni and peer-to-peer networks
4 – Find a mentor, utilize their network and heed their advice
Developing a mentoring relationship will help you build a foundation and set the pace for your career. Mentors can help you learn about a realistic career path and what it takes to succeed.
- Build a mentoring relationship with a person who works in a similar or related field (both online and offline)
- Find mentors through past co-workers, managers, friends, networking acquaintances, and social media connections
Liz Ryan, CEO and founder of Human Workplace, has her own 10 Career-Limiting Habits:
- Putting Other People Down (Do as told, I’m the Boss attitude)
- Being Forgetful (note-taking to the rescue)
- Getting Defensive (It’s not my fault)
- Being 2-faced (Both, an enemy and a friend)
- Sucking the Air Out of the Room (Once you start talking, there is no end)
- Being abrasive (Born to be nasty)
- Gossiping (Did you hear about …)
- Not Following Through on Your Commitments (You can rely on me boss, but we’ll both regret it)
- Not Listening When Other People Speak (I matter, you don’t)
- Needing to Have the Last Word (Told you!)