Technology & Your Job Search–Some “Gotchas”

No one is likely to deny that we live an an age suffused with technology. Unless you live on a deserted island, you’ll probably encounter some aspects of technology every day. Your job search is no exception to that “rule.”

These days, even not-too-savvy job seekers are probably using some form of technology in their job search, such as a basic computer or maybe a smart phone. That’s not to say that use of technology in a job search couldn’t have some “gotchas” to trip you up and keep you from achieving your goal of landing a new job.

Job Search Technology “Gotchas” to Watch Out For

The following are just a few of the technology-related tools and techniques that could derail or at least delay your job search:

  • Identity theft: This might be rare, but when you use a computer to download information pertinent to your job search, you should be careful about the sites you visit for that purpose and careful about the kind of information you provide. (Actually, that’s a good point for non-job search activities, too.)
  • Bogus job postings: Sometimes unscrupulous people have been known to post ads and even conduct “job interviews” for positions that don’t exist, in hopes of luring unsuspecting individuals into get-rich-quick schemes and other activities designed to line their pockets at your expense.
  • Smart phones for submitting resumes: Many companies don’t have their recruiting process optimized for use by smart phones. If you try to upload your resume via smart phone, you might encounter much more difficulty than you expect. Sometimes it’s troublesome enough to convince you to give up in frustration.

Problems Encountered in Online Job Searching

The last point I mentioned above leads into information I found in an article titled “3 Reasons Your Online Job Search Is Failing Miserably” by Martha White. In her article White indicates three reasons that people’s job search might go badly (there are a lot more than three overall, as you can probably imagine!):

  1. You use your smart phone instead of a computer: As the article says, “Jibe, a company that makes technology for job recruiters, finds that a full 20% of job applicants would give up on an online application if they couldn’t do it entirely on their phones. But unfortunately, it also finds that more than a quarter of big companies don’t have a single part of their hiring process set up to work well on a smartphone.”
  2. You rely on Twitter and Facebook: LinkedIn is the medium of choice for recruiters–97% of them, in fact. “A new study from social recruiting company Bullhorn Reach finds that only around 20% of recruiters use Facebook to find job candidates; about the same percentage use Twitter.”
  3. You give up too easily: “Jibe’s research finds that nearly a quarter of candidates will give up on applying for any jobs at a company if they have a single bad experience with completing an online job application.” Also, the research indicated that “more than half of job-seekers say they’d be deterred if an online application didn’t let them upload their resume”–that kind of reaction could keep you from getting a job you want, because someone more persistent could knock you out of the running. According to Jibe’s CEO, failure to be able to upload your resume shouldn’t keep you from submitting it. He suggests, “If you can’t upload your resume, call or email the company even if the job listing says not to.”

I’d add at least one online job search “failure” to the above list: conducting a largely (if not entirely) passive job search that involves things like posting your resume on a bunch of job boards and waiting for the phone to ring. Not going to happen in this lifetime!

Making Technology & Your Job Search Work

Ultimately, you need to make technology a practical and effective part of your job search. Understand its limitations as well as its potential value and structure your job search to take both of those factors into consideration.

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