Old meets new: How to represent yourself in today's social-media-driven business world
If you met someone new and wanted to keep in contact with them, you wouldn't give them your mailing address and ask them to post a letter. In this day and age, that kind of behavior would be considered eccentric at best. The world revolves around new technology, and ignoring it can put you at a disadvantage, whether you're forging new friendships or, more importantly, trying to get hired.
It's important to remember, though, that in the business world, you need to combine high-tech with tradition. Keep these tips in mind while you're on the hunt for a job.
* Your resume and cover letter. Even in a world where it seems like nearly everything is done via email, some employers will demand paper resumes. That said, you need to make adaptations that will show, even on paper, that you're tech savvy. In your header, be sure to include your email address - but be mindful of how it looks. An address like "PuppyLuvr130@example.com" doesn't look professional - instead, set up a separate email account that uses just your name, like "Jane.Smith@example.com." If you can email your resume, be sure it's in a file format that everyone can open, like a PDF, and in a basic font that will always be readable.
* Your cards. When you're fighting hard for a job - as you might very well have to in today's tight employment market - you need to make yourself stand out. Having professional business cards
on hand at all times allows you to be ready for any opportunity to network. Be sure to include the same business-specific email address you include on your resume, but you should also consider adding your LinkedIn profile URL or your Twitter handle.
* Your social media presence. It's pretty much guaranteed that if someone is considering you as an applicant, they'll look at how your present yourself online. Your LinkedIn profile - and you should have one - should be up to date, free of grammatical errors and highlight your achievements. If you use Twitter, make sure you keep it clean and steer away from saying anything that might be construed as provocative - and if you can't, switch to a protected profile. Facebook might be the most popular place for maintaining an online identity, so be sure your profile is cleaned up and won't put off any potential employers.
* Your blog. It takes some serious extra work, but maintaining a blog can also have a serious positive effect. Blog about your industry - or the industry you want to get into - and you'll be showing employers that you're engaged, educated and will be a proactive asset to their company. It's also a great way to get a bit of your personality across, while still maintaining a professional appearance. Be sure to update frequently - Google will like that and your future boss might, too.
Technology has its ups and downs for job seekers - it can connect you to employers and help you network in ways that would have been impossible just a decade ago, but it can also be your downfall if you don't use it carefully. Make sure that you're showing your best side, and make the extra effort to put yourself in the view of potential employers.