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Building A Firm Foundation For Your Digital Job Search
The creative, digital resume has definitely reached the tipping point. If you're looking for a new or better job and you're still strictly sticking to the old-school format, you're missing out on some great opportunities to sell yourself using social media, creative design and multimedia tools like video. At the same time, though, you don't want to get so far out in left field that you leave the job search stadium. Learn the where the foul lines are first and you'll be in good shape.
The web buzzes with people using these tools to attract the right kind of attention to their job search. Before we get into some of the crazier examples, it's important to start with three basics when it comes to searching for a job in the digital economy:
You still need a traditional resume. Even with all the cool tools, a basic cover letter and resume remain a necessity. Everything else serves to complement, illustrate and broadcast the content outlined in your traditional resume. Remember: at some point, an HR person is going to need some sort of easily filed document during the hiring process. That doesn't include a website, social media page or video.
Maximize your LinkedIn page. LinkedIn is quite simply the most powerful tool available right now for job searches. Companies and recruiters are actively using it, as are your professional colleagues. Still, I'm amazed at the number of profiles I see that are only partially completed. It's worth your while to polish your profile and learn advanced LinkedIn features.
Build a personal website. A website devoted to the "You" brand is the third booster rocket that will help your job search reach escape velocity. This doesn't require any deep expertise in HTML coding, or money, for that matter. Providers like Webs.com and Wordpress give you plenty of point-and-click flexibility for little or no cost. Your website then becomes home for all the other elements you build to get that dream job.
It's easy to get caught up in trends these days. There's no doubt that creativity, great design and multimedia are very important. In my next post on Thursday, I'll cite some good examples that you can use for inspiration. Just remember to lay a good foundation with a traditional resume, polished LinkedIn page and personal website first.