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Job Search - Tools of the Trade

by ​Carolyn Leighton-Hilborn

If you are unemployed you have likely discovered that a job search is quite different these days. Often this can leave you wondering where to start. But no worries, we can help. Today’s job search involves creativity, in addition to tried-and-true techniques. In recent years many job seekers have become accustomed to finding job leads through online postings, instead of newspapers. However, online job boards are just the beginning of the internet’s power for finding employment. Online job postings are great, but with established and emerging social technologies (including LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media) a more interactive job search is the key to success.

Social media allows you to access information about potential employers like never before. Those that are interested in learning more about a CEO of a particular company can simply carry out an internet search and find a wealth of information, including online contact coordinates. No longer is the “receptionist block” the final word. The world we live is much more open to interaction and engagement with others, especially online. Often people in leadership roles appreciate the time others take to seek them out and request information or a connection.

In order to market your skills you may choose to use LinkedIn to build a solid, professional profile, telling those that are interested why you are the one they should hire. Or your may use it to monitor your favourite companies for job opportunities they announce to their followers. You should make a list of your Top 10 employers to work for and seek them out on LinkedIn. You might be surprised what you find.
Twitter is a great way to make quick connections and is an amazing resource for a job search. The beauty of Twitter is you can customize its use to meet your needs. You can follow who you wish to follow, in turn hearing the “voices” of only those that matter to you. Companies across the globe are on Twitter, sharing industry information, communicating with likeminded people, as well as tweeting about new job postings and how to apply.

If you have confidence with using the internet and basic software, you may take steps to create a professional blog about your employment experience or your field of expertise. By putting your thoughts out there you build a name for yourself, which is a great opportunity to market your skills and professionalism in a public forum. You should also include your formal resume on your blog in a PDF formatted document. Coordinating your blog with all your social media accounts is a great way to gain an audience and raise your profile. See our Employment Tip on Social Media and Job Leads.

By including social media in your job search you are opening up the potential for opportunities to come your way. In addition to these online tools, you should continue with strong offline strategies. Consider attending industry networking events, make sure you have business cards for new connections (a quick hint – they should include your online information). Get to know other people and don’t be shy about sharing details about yourself. In person networking may feel awkward for some, but with a bit of practice and a confidence boost from your employment counsellor you should get over that hurdle quite quickly. And of course, continue to seek job opportunities on reliable online job boards (examples: http://jobboard.lutherwood.ca/ or http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/jobs/jobbank.