This final installment of Job Search 3.0 will highlight your digital footprint and it's affect on your job search, salary negotiations, my favorite sites for seekers, and how to finish your search strong.
Your online reputation, like your real life reputation, can impact how you are viewed by others, even before your first meeting. Just as there is data floating around the net about the companies you'd like to work for, the more time you pound the virtual pavement as a job seeker, the more footprints you leave behind. Are the bottoms of your shoes dirty or clean?
Google yourself ("First name Last Name"). Become aware of what onine activities are attached to your name. Do your best to manage your online presence, because in all likelihood, you won't be able to erase it completely. Be mindful of the fact that anything you're doing or saying online (and even on your phone, while connected to the net) can possibly be retrieved by someone at your target company who is searching for details about you online. Be aware, too that images and video could very well be attached to your name (search your name in quotation marks here to check Google Images). This isn't to say that every single shred of your digital presence has to be buttoned up and job related. But it shouldn't be incriminating enough to get you fired or passed over for a potential opening.
Many candidates don't have a firm answer when a recruiter asks the question, "What are your salary requirements?" There is advice online saying job seekers should avoid answering this question until the end of the process. But the truth is, in Web 3.0, often the salary field is required to complete the online application. Some jobs may even request a full salary history to accompany your resume and cover letter. This information helps recruiters figure out if you're "out of salary range," in the same way that, when car shopping, you need to limit your options to certain makes and models to stay within your budget (see Part 2 for new car analogy).
My best advice around the salary question is to be honest and reasonable. New grads will have different ranges than mid-career professionals, so if you're clueless on where to start, do some research and decide on a $10K range that you are comfortable with, i.e., $50-60K. Just don't "flip the script" on the recruiter at the end of the process.
ME: "Congrats! I'm calling to offer you the position at $50,000 annually."
CANDIDATE: "Oh, I know I said I'd be comfortable with $50,000, but my child care costs just went up, and the price of gas keeps going up, so at minimum I need $65,000."
Never try to justify an increase in pay with the specifics of your personal financial situation. The reality is that you risk losing the offer entirely if you use this approach. The salary of a job is not contingent on your overhead and expenses. It's based on the job description, skill sets required, responsibility, departmental budget, etc. Negotiating a higher starting salary is possible, but you need to be strategic.
Job Search Sites
The five sites I've relied on most during my own job search have been: LinkedIn Jobs, Indeed, Simply Hired, OpportunityKnocks and Idealist. I recommend finding a job board specifically tailored for your profession: EdJoin for educators, Dice for technical positions, HCareers for hospitality jobs, Showbizjobs for entertainment careers and so on. You will find many specialized boards online. Get specific with it! Find the few that work best for you, and bookmark the sites you find valuable. I will stress again the importance of alerts on your job board or aggregator of choice. Alerts are great because they help to ensure that you're in know as soon as the job goes live. If you are fully qualified, you have a much better chance of being contacted if you're in the first batch of resumes received by the recruiter.
New to the scene is Pinterest, an emerging online pin board. I'm not posting my resume there currently, nor am I looking for candidates there currently. However, Pinterest may present itself as a viable option in the months to come for certain industries. If you do choose to post your resume on Pinterest, I recommend posting an Infographic resume versus a traditional Word document.
Finish Your Search Strong
In finishing your job search strong, be sure to research the company well before the interview, ask provocative questions, and ask for the job before you leave the interview. Follow up within 24 hours with everyone who took the time to speak with you about the company (it wouldn't hurt to send the receptionist a thank you note too!) Some recruiters prefer e-mail over snail mail. Use your best judgement. When I was a Recruiter at E!, I had a cork board/white board on my wall (it's the teacher in me). On the white board side, there was usually a motivating message tied into the brand - "Have a True Hollywood Thursday." On the cork side, there were thank you cards I'd received in the mail (yes, snail mail) from candidates. I received more thank you cards from candidates at E! than at any other company I've worked at, probably because the candidates had the visual cues that I appreciated thank you cards right in front of them.
Reaching the End of Your Search
As you're doing the work, believe that all of your creative and consistent efforts will yield results. Whether it takes you 2 months or 2 years, believe you will land again. I trust that when you do land the position you've desired, you will have a genuine and heartfelt appreciation for it, one that may seem strange to your new peers who have been comfortably at their desks for the past 15 years. You have built good habits during your down time, and have executed a successful job search strategy. Carry that momentum with you, being sure to remain strategic during your first 90 days on the job. Feel free to cancel those job search alerts, but whatever you do, don't stop networking! Maintaining and continuing to build relationships will make it easier in the event that you find yourself searching again in the future.
If you have any additional ideas that you've used in your Job Search 3.0 efforts, feel free to share in the comments section.
Maisha Cannon is a Senior Recruiter and Researcher committed to introducing employers to talent that will enhance and grow their businesses. Over the span of her 15 year career in Human Resources, Maisha has filled over 1,000 positions, and has coached hundreds of candidates on resume writing, interviewing skills, and career planning. She spends her free time blogging, engrossed in social media, and singing along to the thousands of songs in her iPod.