The days of circling classified ads in the newspaper are long gone, and online job boards may be the next employment tool to disappear with the changing times.
Allen Wooten, Business Development Manager for Personify, knows the benefits and the pitfalls to the modern era of technology and job hunting. Personify is a highly specialized, Raleigh-based recruitment agency that focuses on providing businesses with top-notch recruits.
“If you were to go to one of our social media outlets—whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter—you can get a very strong sense of the type of company that we are, our value system, our culture,” says Wooten. “We believe the next generation of the work force is using these tools to get a feel for the company and if it’s where they want to work.”
While businesses are using social media sites to draw future employees in to apply, job seekers are finding benefits to having a web presence. LinkedIn and About Me (also with their jobs app Intro) allow users to create a personalized page to draw in employers and link to profiles on other social platforms. Plus, there are dozens of apps tailored to make the job-hunting process not only easier, but more efficient and effective both for candidates and businesses.
“It empowers job seekers with an easier way to find a job,” says Yarden Tadmor, Founder and CEO of Switch. Tadmor says they catered the app to jobseekers who are employed but looking for something else. Personal information is kept confidential until a match is made. “Seventy-five percent of our matches set up an interview in 48 hours,” says Tadmor of the app’s success rate.
While Switch is focused on professionals in tech, media and digital divisions, another new app, JobSnap was developed with Generation Z in mind, serving candidates with little or no job experience. Most of the positions are in hospitality, restaurants or retail. Applicants and companies upload 30-second videos replacing traditional profiles. Similar to Tinder, the app allows you to swipe through various employment opportunities.
Crafting a custom website or filming a video resume showcases creativity and a knowledge of your skillset, and it’s becoming an increasingly popular way to promote and differentiate oneself. Andrew Harrison, an Art Director with SFW, did a twist on the traditional video resume: he asked former co-workers to send a selfie recommending him for future employment opportunities. Harrison spliced the testimonial footage together and posted on his website.
“I think it made an impression in some ways,” says Harrison, “At the end of the day, it didn’t cost anything to make and didn’t take much time so it was worth executing.”
“It’s a powerful tool,” says Tadmor, but pictures can come with a cost. “It comes with discrimination and bias.” Many large corporations have implemented protocols to avoid discrimination based upon race, age or sex. For these businesses, online tools such as Switch, will refrain from showing images of the candidates until they are matched up with a job.
“Technology has gotten us to a point where we begin to forget some of our roots as it relates to interviewing,” says Ryan Carfley, President of Personify. “That’s everything from interview preparation, to follow-up notes that are handwritten, to dressing professionally for the interview, even if it’s a casual office setting.”
“This seems so simple to previous generations of job seekers,” adds Wooten, “but Millennials are often falling by the wayside with these types of differentiators.”
Moreover, social media can be both helpful and hurtful, especially since online impressions are made earlier and earlier. “Networking via social media is a great tool but it is just one way to make connections or find information about organizations,” says Scott Orvis, Director of College Counseling at Saint Mary’s School. “It is valuable to have a presence, though being mindful of what appears there and the impression it could leave on a potential connection or employer is important.”
What’s a job seeker to do? How do you balance being tech savvy with the traditional aspects of finding a job? How can you be unique without being overwhelming? “Just be you,” Harrison suggests. “Be persistent but not annoying. Figure out your brand and sell it. Beyond credentials, people hire personality.”
Should you delete your social media presence while you’re looking for a job?
NO! Employers like to get a feel for your web presence. Your social media is the best way to display your real personality. What do you like? What do you do in your spare time? Do you have a lot of connections? Pictures of friends and family? The larger your online social sphere, the more your future boss will get to know about you.
But… Monitor what your current posts and your previous ones too. Older (more embarrassing) posts might best be deleted or hidden with privacy filters. Don’t wipe your whole slate clean but be cognizant of how your posts will portray you as. Overly personal information and public drama can be off-putting to employers (and maybe even to your friends).
Job Hunting Apps You Need to Know About
Keep your information private! Looking for a new job can compromise your current position. This app allows your to browse and apply to tech jobs anonymously
Geared towards Generation Z, this app focuses on part-time or seasonal work in hospitality, retail and restaurants.
Sync all of your job search platforms into one easy-to-use application. Browse jobs in one location. View company and salary information from other users.
Is commute the biggest factor in your job search? Use this GPS based app to apply to jobs located near where you want to work.
Avoid the additional steps to land that interview. Connect your Linked-In account to browse nearby employers and positions and set up a meeting directly to their phone.
Don’t need a full time job? Use this app to browse part time, contract, and seasonal positions available near you.