I’ve recently read an onslaught of articles aimed at members of the digital age. Most of these articles caution that getting ‘caught up in technology’ may have dire consequences. One of the biggest problems is that those members of the younger generations tend to think they’re doing what’s best by being engaged in social media. Though I encourage the use of social media to expand knowledge, many experts argue that the computer alone will do little to help you land a great job.
Many employers claim they can’t find qualified candidates. How can this be? Each May, recent college graduates embark on job searches only to come up empty-handed. It’s not enough to send out repetitive cover letters and resumes so that each job application blurs together. While online job search engines have streamlined the process (and improved upon it in most cases), many young people are forgetting to add the interpersonal connection. It’s not enough to simply apply online and expect to get an interview. Employers filter these applications and you may be one of thousands applying for one position.
If you’ve read my blogs before, you know I mention networking quite often. The reason is simple: networking works. As Chris Farrell recently wrote, studies show that personal recommendations (word of mouth) are highly touted in the job search. Why? For the same reason that it's important to write a hand-written thank you note after an interview. Personalization has largely disappeared from our working landscape. With so many jobs being done remotely and such a reliance on social media, it's a wonder that younger people know how to communicate face-to-face at all! As Professor Cobb of the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania says, “What all of the technological advancements have not done is to overcome the primary barrier to getting a job—which, from the employer’s standpoint, is being able to answer, ‘What type of worker will the applicant be?’” Therein lies my point. If you can't establish a direct connection, use your resources. Here's where networking plays a crucial part in who lands the job and who continues to send out applications. If you can have someone vouch for the type of worker you are, you are already a step ahead in the process.
Have you used personal connections to your advantage? If you haven't, what are you waiting for! It's time to be proactive in your job search.