August 11, 2021
How Technology Changes the Job Search Experience
by Chris Winterboer
As a member of a generation that uses technology reluctantly and as a late adopter, it has certainly made my life much easier in the past 2-3 years. It has helped many companies with the recruitment process, and in turn made the experience better for many candidates. But in order to take full advantage, you have to be an active participant. There are three main keys to ensuring a good user experience:
- Organization – keep track of absolutely everything you do. Some technology does this for you, but you often need unique usernames, passwords, and links to sites where you may apply. Whether it be a formal job application or just to receive updates and alerts on jobs, having too much of a good thing can be bad if you don’t have everything well organized.
- Communication – as with many facets of life, this is key to using technology properly. Ask for help when needed. Clarify that you have completed things fully and properly. Still rely upon picking up the phone or emailing someone directly to make sure you have completed the application, the assessment, the upload of information, etc. More is not always better here. Be sure to be prepared and don’t ask too many unnecessary questions.
- Practice – the old saying of practice makes perfect is not good enough any more. Perfect practice makes perfect is a better way to approach it. Especially if you are like me and not tech savvy by nature, it will take a little effort to learn all of the tools at your disposal. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Perfect practice only comes over time and won’t happen on the first try.
Here are some tips/takeaways to be sure you are taking full advantage of the technology that will ultimately take your job search to the next level.
- Just about every company pays to post jobs on third-party job boards. This automatically feeds into a database but doesn’t mean someone reviews jobs one by one. They are looking for keyword matches. So, have multiple versions of your resume ready to match up with the skill codes advertised in the job.
- Because companies post the same job to multiple websites, not to mention web crawlers, you really have to be careful where you apply. It all feeds into the same database, so apply for 1 job through 1 site and track it. You don’t want to be the person who applies to the same job 7 times. Stick with the most well-known, reputable sites to maximize the potential it makes it through to the hiring manager.
- Don’t expect a lot of proactive company communication. You may not receive any communication after you apply. You might not even receive closure after an interview. In big companies, there are lots of layers of talent acquisition, Human Resources, and hiring managers. They fall into the trap of automating the process rather than personalizing it. Don’t take that personally.
- Large companies use apps and social media to plug into their Careers page. You may have to create an individual user account but that extra step will help you keep all the jobs you apply for with them organized in one portal.
- Profile assessments are everywhere. “Gut instinct” has either given companies a bad taste in their mouth or opened them up to discriminatory hiring practices which is why profile assessments have become a standard part of the 1st or 2nd round of the interview process.
- You may have to ‘apply for the job’ even after you’ve already spoken with the hiring manager. Paper applications are dead. Companies use the job ad on their Careers page as a way to add you to their HRIS system. By completing their online application, you’ve saved them a ton of time with data entry and yourself some down the road when the offer comes.
- Expect some form of competitive compensation calculator to come into play if you relocate. Again, the idea here is that a third-party, web-based solution will help align your compensation expectations with the ‘market value’.