5 Tech Tips That Will Help You Land Your Next Job

Photo (cc) by nan palmero

With the national unemployment rate still at 8.9 percent as of February, many people are still looking for work.

Given the crowded field of applicants, job seekers need an edge anywhere they can find it – and some are finding it through social media and other technology.

For example, one guy got a job through a $6 ad campaign. He bought sponsored search results from Google that turned up his website when the people he wanted to hire him searched their own names. Of course, that trick won’t work for everyone. But it’s just one example of using technology wisely.

To find out what other people are doing (or should be doing) our reporter Jim Robinson talked with Shari Saperstein, the director of Career Development at Nova Southeastern University. To hear what she thinks is important these days, watch the video below. Then read on for some more tech tips to help you trump the competition.

Let’s recap the advice and take it further:

  1. Research employers. Look at company websites not only for job openings but also to get a feel for the company. Try to understand what they do, and how and why they do it – employers may skip over candidates who don’t know anything about the company. What buzz words does the company use to describe itself? Parroting them at an interview couldn’t hurt. If you’re targeting a specific company, set up a Google news alert so you get emailed the latest happenings. You can also check for employee reviews at Glassdoor.com and use sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to see what other employees are saying or even ask them questions – through private messages, of course.
  2. Clean up your online persona. Potential employers will be using the same methods to scope you out, so make sure your profiles are professional – or at least private. “If you have a Facebook page, it should be fully professional,” Saperstein says. “Pull off anything you wouldn’t want your mother to see and use email to go back and forth with your friends.” She also says not to have multiple profiles on a site. Employers may find them and think you’re hiding something. For more tips on scrubbing your Internet persona, check out 6 Tips for Going Underground Online.
  3. Use your smartphone. Yup, there’s an app for that. Here are 10 iPhone Apps to Manage Your Job Search and 20 Best Android Apps for Your Job Search. “Companies are starting to get into posting positions through different apps,” Saperstein say – Starbucks made its first hire through an app last October.
  4. Build your brand. Many people now have at least a digital version of their resume on a site like LinkedIn. Some people are starting to use Google Profiles as well, and others create their own websites with blogs and portfolios of their work. You don’t have to be a tech genius to do it either. There are customizable publishing platforms like WordPress, which even has videos showing you step-by-step how to build your own site and offers free templates that you simply type into. Also get involved on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but don’t just post your own stuff. Have conversations with people in the field. And do it consistently. “You can’t just create a Facebook page or Twitter and abandon it,” Saperstein says. “You need to tweet once or twice a week, minimum.”
  5. Network and learn. The more time you spend on these social networks, the more you’ll notice industry discussions and training resources are everywhere. Here’s a list of weekly chats on Twitter for PR people, and the people you follow probably know about the ones relevant to your field. If there isn’t one, think about starting one. People will pay attention to you, and it’s a great networking opportunity. “Take the initiative,” Saperstein says. “It shows someone who has a lot of foresight, energy, and is really motivated and engaged.” Sites like Mashable keep an eye on the social media world, and even discuss things like, oddly enough, How Job Seekers May Use Social Media in the Future.

Of course, there are some things where there isn’t “an app for that” and probably never will be. Here are some other tips from Shari Saperstein, useful regardless of the tech you use:

  • Tailor your resume to specific jobs. “They’re not going to sit there and say, ‘Oh, there are transferable skills here.’ They’re going to cut you out because they don’t have the time.”
  • Format the resume according to what the job calls for. “Chronology is irrelevant and ineffective these days,” Saperstein says. “Read the job description and identify the specific, tangible skills they’re looking for. Put matching skills at the top of your resume.”
  • Join professional organizations and keep learning about the field. Online social networking is important, but do some real-life networking too. “It shows you’re keeping up with the times and invested. It shows you’re eager and hungry,” says Saperstein.
  • Don’t be afraid to brag a bit. “No one is going to market you but you. If you’re shy, you have to learn to become confident. Put on that happy face and represent yourself.”

And if you’re curious about where the job market is going, check out 10 New Trends for 2011 Jobs.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Common Expenses That Have Skyrocketed for Seniors
10 Common Expenses That Have Skyrocketed for Seniors

Retirees must stretch their dollars further and further these days — no thanks to these costs.

17 Home Upgrades That Rarely Help Close a Sale
17 Home Upgrades That Rarely Help Close a Sale

Real estate agents give these renovations low marks when it comes to helping sell homes.

4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less
4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less

Here’s how to ditch cable — and save a bundle — without giving up your favorite shows.

10 Things You Should Never Buy on Amazon
10 Things You Should Never Buy on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.