When looking for a job, the advice used to be to network extensively, pursue every opportunity, and get out and pound the pavement. In today's economy, that's the beginning of a strategy, but job seekers need to do so much more to stand out in the crowd. They are now leveraging new methods as well as practicing established techniques.
For the young unemployed, having appropriate experience is still the key to landing an initial job. Nothing has changed in this regard; it's always been important, and still is. Law.com reports on how a successful San Francisco attorney broke in to the field. Fresh out of law school in the early nineties, his internship dried up and law firms weren't hiring; they were laying off. Every position he sought had tens of applicants, and they all had qualifying experience. Having no success getting into a law firm, he went to the army, became a captain in the JAG Corps and has never looked back. Former Captain Doug Saeltzer advises "Do everything and anything to get experience. Salary doesn't matter, benefits, connections, location can't be the driving force. When hiring's going to start again they're going to be looking for somebody they can give those 30 files to and say 'Deal with this.' That's exactly what happened with the job I got."
Even with experience, job seekers still have to compete simply to find a position they can apply to. Online job boards are common currency, and simply responding to postings with a resume may look like gainful activity, but accomplish nothing. PC World reports on the use of social networks to surface opportunities, and tools for making resumes really pop. Job hunters are placing profiles in the most popular social networks such as LinkedIn, regarded as the leader, along with Facebook, Twitter, and others.
Job seekers are now using social networking sites to have jobs come looking for them. TweetMyJobs.com let's it users sign up for alerts on Job Channels. Subscribers can be the first, or among the first, to respond, as new openings are sent immediately through Twitter.
Once under consideration, the resume continues to be very important. A few years ago, it was enough for job candidates to rewrite their resumes to emphasize accomplishments instead of responsibilities, especially for jobs that impact the employer's bottom line. But now text is no longer enough; multimedia is what is making candidates stand out. Sites like VisualCV are gaining popularity. It's a free service that enables its users to build a resume that includes charts, images, audio and even video to present professional qualifications in a compelling format.