When you're conducting a job search, you need to make it easy for employers to find you online. Employers, who can be inundated with resumes when they post jobs, often seek passive candidates (qualified candidates who aren't necessarily looking for work, but who may be interested if the right job comes along).
Anyone who doesn't want to pass up what could be an excellent opportunity should make their professional credentials readily accessible online.
How Employers Find Applicants
Candidate Sourcing: In addition to reviewing resumes posted to their company websites and to job sites like Monster or CareerBuilder, employers are actively sourcing passive candidates. They are mining the Internet to find the best people to hire, regardless of whether the candidate has expressed interest in their company, or not.
Besides spending time personally searching the Internet for candidates for employment, companies are using technology that will find applicants for them. Candidate sourcing programs like Airs Sourcepoint are utilized by many companies. Airs Sourcepoint, for example, not only searches all resume databases the hiring manager has access to, but also searches other candidate databases.
Using systems like these, hiring managers can then contact candidates quickly and simply.
Networking Sites: In addition, recruiters and Human Resources managers are adding their own profiles to sites like LinkedIn, and making connections with potential candidates for employment. LinkedIn has members from all 500 of the Fortune 500 companies and covers 130 different industries. Consider how many potential contacts that is and be sure to connect with current and past co-workers, clients, and classmates, so you're getting the most out of your network.
Job seekers can use passive candidate searching by employers to their advantage. What you need to do is to make your information (resume, skills, experience, etc.) findable when companies are looking for candidates. You need to edit and tweak your resume and the other information you have online, so you show up in the search results generated by employers who may have a job that's a good fit.
Make Your Professional Information Available
When you want employers to find you, it's important that your resume and the profiles you post have specific information regarding your credentials and qualifications.
Your resume should contain:
- Keywords. If you're not sure what to include, use a job search engine like Indeed.com to search for jobs that match your qualifications. Once you come up with some terms that fit, use them in your resume. That way, you will be found by employers seeking candidates with similar qualifications.
- Job Titles. Employers are often interested in candidates with specific experience and will search for that i.e. Online Marketing Coordinator or Telephone Sales Manager.
- Qualifications. Be specific - if you have Microsoft Certification or an MBA, say so.
- Skills. Your resume should contain your most relevant skills that are a match for the job.
- Affiliations. List the professional organizations that you have joined.
Update your resume regularly. Many resume databases have options so employers can search only the newest resumes or those posted with a certain period of time. So, you'll need to update your resume frequently so it's found.
Career Networking Sites: Networking sites are also an important source of passive candidates for employers. Create your profiles just as carefully as your resume. Include your experience as well as your education. Also, include your association memberships and even your personal interests. Once you have a profile, potential employers will be able to find you and you will be able to connect with other users who can help you with your career and employment goals.
College Alumni Associations: College graduates should always check with their alma mater to see what networking resources are available. Many colleges have alumni databases specifically designed for networking purposes. Alumni are often interested in recruiting candidates from their school, so it's important to take advantage of whatever resources are available.
Employer Alumni Associations: In order to stay connected with past co-workers, former employees have created employer alumni associations. If your prior employers have associations, join them. Former colleagues will be able to help you with your future career plans.
Professional Associations: Do you belong to any professional associations? If so, see if they have a member database. That's another good way to help potential employers find you.
Keep Your Personal Information Private
Making your information available online, by the way, precludes the personal information in your Facebook, Instagram, or other social networking accounts that wouldn't be appropriate for a hiring manager or recruiter to read. That personal information should be kept private, and only made accessible, to those people you are comfortable with seeing it. You can also limit the contact information viewable on your resume if you have privacy concerns.
Your Professional Online Presence
It's important to keep in mind that your online presence needs to be both professional and presentable. It doesn't matter how often your resume or your profile shows up if there are typos or grammatically errors.
It's just as important to communicate professionally with your contacts - the people who contact you and vice versa. Make sure your emails and instant messages are composed appropriately - consider them business correspondence, just as a written letter or phone call would be.
Finally, keep track of everywhere you have posted your resume and created profiles (and keep a password list, too). That way you can update frequently and stay on top of the information you have posted online.