The advancement of technology has impacted almost every aspect of the way we live today, and the way that we find work is certainly no exception. Some of the changes that have taken place over the course of a generation include:
Recruitment advertising—in the not too distant past, most jobs were advertised in the Sunday newspaper. While newspaper ads are still effective in some areas, the vast majority of recruitment advertising is now done online.
Applying for jobs—this used to mean printing your résumé on bonded stationary paper, folding it, placing it in a corresponding envelope, and dropping it in the mail (with a stamp, of course). Now, the process of applying for jobs has moved almost entirely online, and many companies will not even accept résumés submitted by mail.
Interviewing—job interviews were conducted almost entirely face-to-face. While videoconferencing was possible, it was an expensive, somewhat unreliable technology that was cost-prohibitive for most organizations. Today, face-to-face interviewing is still the norm, but advancements in technology have made video interviews easier, more cost-effective, and thus, much more common.
For all of the changes, there is one critical thing that has not changed. Networking remains the single most effective way of finding a job. And it’s important to keep in mind that just because the holidays are approaching doesn’t mean that employers are less focused on hiring. As Alison Doyle, job search guide for About.com points out, the holidays can be an excellent time of year to find a job.
Some tips for effective networking:
· Identify networking events in your area using websites like LinkedIn, Meetup, Eventbrite, or through professional associations you may be affiliated with.
· It is neither practical nor advisable to distribute your résumés at a networking event, but you do want to make sure that you can easily give out your contact information. Consider creating your own personalized business cards using sites like Vistaprint or Zazzle. They offer a variety of free and/or low cost options. Add a short description to your cards that tells the recipient what you do (for example, ‘Experienced Architect’).
· Prepare your ‘elevator speech.’ This is a brief introduction of your professional self, and should be no more than a minute. Focus on the essential things that you would want someone to know about your background and skills.
· When you meet with other professionals, be sure to ask how you can help them. Chances are, if you help someone else, they’ll remember it and help you when they can.
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