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8 Ways To Digital Job Search Like You Mean It

8 Ways To Digital Job Search Like You Mean It

It’s obvious to add your resume to a website and apply when you see a fit, or get an alert. However, If that is the only way you are handling your digital job search, you definitely won’t maximize your results. Before you utilize the job search strategies listed below, be sure to tighten up your resume and cover letter; if you need to customize either one of them, you should do that as well.

Set up job alerts on every platform you can.

Whenever you job search on a site, in most cases they ask you if you want to set up a job alert. If it is a site you trust, you should definitely set up job alerts, so that you don’t miss any opportunities.

Google search your role.

Google searching your role will pull up a vast amount of search results online. For example, if you don’t narrow down your search, it will pull up just about every company, city and state that has opportunities for you, which can be a good thing if you still don’t know whether you want a remote, contract, or full-time job.

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Follow companies on every social media platform they are on.

Once you find a company that you are interested in, you should follow them or connect to them through social media. Even though we have social media management platforms like Hootsuite and Bluurp,  some companies do not always update every social media platform they are on. If you follow a company on every platform, this maximizes your chances of seeing job opportunities as soon as they are posted.

Check out business journals for the city and state you are targeting.

Most major cities have online business journals, and these journals tell you about the coolest companies in the area (or, at least what they deem to be the coolest companies in the area). Business journal lists usually include a lot of startups; if you are looking to get into the startup industry, this may be good for you.

Search your role on Glassdoor.

When you search your role on Glassdoor, not only will you be able to see what companies have opportunities for you, but you will also be able to see what current and former employees are saying. You’ll be able to immediately see details on what a particular company may be offering for your role.

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Join any digital groups you can on social media.

When I lived in New York, I attended tons of networking events (this was before and after Meetup became a thing). However, now Meetup makes it easier to find meetups in your field and in your area. Also before you move to any new place, check for digital meetups near where you’ll be located.

Don’t just focus on Meetup; you should also do searches on Facebook. For example, the Houston area of Texas, has a “Houston Digital Jobs” group; direct employers and recruiters also post full-time, contract, and intern roles there. If you spend time on any social media platform, you should search to see if they have groups to join.

Do “blind auditions.”

If you find a company you like and they are not hiring at all or they are not hiring for your particular role right now, you should still contact them. Visit their careers page to see if they have instructions about how to contact them for future openings. If you don’t have any luck on the careers page, look for any human resource links on the site.

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You can also look for the “Contact Us” form to ask a question about where to send a resume and cover letter. Since this is what I like to call a “blind audition,” you need to make sure you put your best foot forward and work overtime to get contacted back. As with any job search process, you want to customize your resume and cover letter, and find ways to say unique things about the company.

For example, if you are a full-stack developer, you want to mention that. However, you also want to make sure you mention specific technologies the company is utilizing right now. If you are applying for a job at Twitter, you want to mention any work you’ve done with Twitter APIs.

Use remote and onsite job search strategies.

While some companies may be 100% onsite, and some may be 100% remote, this does not mean that a remote company will never need an onsite person or that an onsite company will never need a remote person. Companies grow, and needs change from time to time. So, if you see a company you like, don’t be afraid to email them and ask. They may also welcome you to apply for a role in the company if you ever move to the area. Either way, you now have a contact that you didn’t have before.

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Job searching takes patience, persistence, and humility. There will be times when you are simply just not a good fit, and that is okay. Whatever happens during the process, you will learn new strategies that you can teach others. So, get out there and job search!

Featured photo credit: Maret Hosemann via pixabay.com

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Aqueelah Emanuel

Founder of AQ's Corner

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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