Q:?I am returning to work after taking time out to raise a family. The most recent contract positions I have held have all been obtained through word-of-mouth. What I struggle with is the anonymity of the Internet as a selection /recruitment tool and the level of service provided by recruitment agencies. What do you feel is the most successful way for mature age job seekers to approach finding employment?
A: A solution to reduce the anonymity of the Internet is to not be anonymous! Modern day online strategies include personal branding, which can be established through e-resumes/portfolios, as well as social media profiles (i.e. LinkedIn and Twitter). Depending on your line of work, you can also post relevant articles through a blog. Ensure consistency of your content and messages. Ensure all social media interaction is positive and professional, as employers and recruiters will Google your name to see what can be found about you. Transparency is key.
Remember that most jobs are never posted. Think about it this way…if you were an employer would you shell out the salary you’re expecting to a complete stranger? No. Most of us would rather hire people we’ve met, who have engaged with us, demonstrating interest and initiative. Or, we’ll hire through word-of-mouth. So it’s key to target specific companies to begin your research process. When doing so, be sure to Google THEM as well, and pay attention to what they’re saying through social media (i.e. follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter, and connect with them.) Company research is vital in an effective job search campaign.
Don’t rely on others (i.e. recruiters) to find you work. While they are a great resource, they are simply that…another resource to use in conjunction with all the other job search strategies you use. Remember that YOU are the best salesperson of you! And in order to do that, you have to network, network, network! This is SO very important…crucial to an effective job search. When I facilitate job search workshops and ask participants how they got their last job, 9 out of 10 have said through networking. So it’s proven to be effective!
Jobs will not magically appear…you must seek them out. Through positive and consistent action, THEN jobs may appear! I equate it to the needle in the haystack metaphor. For some reason, when most of us are in job search mode, we hope we will miraculously stumble upon the perfect job for us…whether through the Internet, job board, etc. But that’s like waiting to find a needle in a haystack!
And, while social media is a necessity in today’s job search, real live face-to-face interaction is where all paths must ultimately lead. Lastly, regarding being a mature worker…the methods I’ve suggested are for everyone, regardless of age. I would teach the same methods to mature workers or young workers. Just remember: you have a lot of skills, work ethics, and life experience to offer, that are highly valuable to an employer.
Hope this helps and all the best to you in your job search!
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