Finding work in the Web 2.0 world

If this is your final year at university, then you probably hope to be working in a graduate position next year.  With the global economy spiralling downwards and unemployment on the rise, the competition for graduate positions this year will be the fiercest we’ve seen in years.  So, how do you secure the job of your dreams?  Start by harnessing the power of digital technologies. 

Do your homework
Be proactive.  Pinpoint a couple of industries or a handful of companies in which you’d like to work.  Keep your eye out for opportunities in newspapers, but don’t limit yourself to traditional media.  Register your details with career websites and set up Google alerts for news on those companies that interest you.  This will give you a head start at job interviews, as you’ll be able to demonstrate your knowledge of a company’s business activities, as well as broader industry trends.

Employers can Google!
Protecting your online footprint makes smart career sense, and Googling yourself is not so much ego surfing as research!  As many as four in five recruiters use search engines to find background data on candidates – and what they care about is your top ten search results on Google.  One recent survey of recruiters in the US found that 35 per cent have eliminated a candidate because of what they unearthed online.  Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Be the star in your own video CV
It’s no longer just budding film directors who are selling their skills on YouTube – everyone from sales managers to business analysts are shooting their own video CVs to give themselves the best shot at their dream job.  The challenge is to make your application stand out from the crowd.  Start by looking the part you wish to play.  What role are you pitching for?  Dress as you would for an interview, and present yourself and your CV the way you would to a prospective employer.  Rehearse your script, take care to look at the camera and speak slowly and clearly.  Be funny, lively, personable and professional – but keep it short (just one to three minutes).  Most importantly, focus on your professional endeavours, not personal ones.  A video CV won’t replace your written CV, but it can complement it by conveying aspects of your personality imperceptible on paper.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
The old cliché holds true: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.  Nearly half of all job hunters obtain their jobs through word of mouth.  Everyone has a network of between 250 to 3,000 contacts, so get them working for you!  Send everyone you know an email, or post a message on your MySpace of Facebook page, telling them you are looking for a job, and give them a clear idea of your skills and the type of work you’re after.  Remember, if you know 250 people and each of those people knows 250 people, then the second level of your network contains 62,500 people! 

Finding your job through Facebook
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become another avenue for companies to identify and recruit new employees.  A recent American survey revealed that 64 per cent of companies are making contact with potential employees through online social networks, predominantly LinkedIn (80%) and Facebook (36%).  So, search for your target companies on social networking sites.  Become a ‘fan’, look for information on how to apply for positions in their company and a scan their list of latest jobs.  Again, check who you know in those companies – you’ll be amazed by the connections you can make with a few simple clicks.

Above all, remain positive.  Some things remain the same, regardless of the rate of technological change, and perseverance and learning to accept rejection will always be important parts of job seeking.  Remember, employers hire people who are confident, enthusiastic and demonstrate a ‘can do’ attitude.  Good luck!

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