The last issue of this column looked at how the website Trello could be your next best friend. Trello can be used to keep your job search (and life) on track. There are hundreds of other apps, software and web pages that can be equally useful and I hope to cover as many of them as I can in future columns. As useful as technology can be to the modern job-seeker, it also presents a myriad of pitfalls.
It only takes a few minutes of your time and access to Google to come up with hundreds of articles about people who lost their jobs or didn’t get the job because of what was on their Facebook page, Twitter feed or blog. It should be obvious by now to anybody with even a passing interest in social media, that the thoughtless click of a mouse button, an indiscreet photo or a long-winded political rant can do irreparable damage to a career or reputation.
But that’s not the main reason your computer hates you. To the job-seeker the computer offers the ability to apply for many jobs a day by email or submitting resumes on-line. Applying to jobs online is a highly useful activity, but the ease of this carries a hidden danger. Because surfing job boards and applying for jobs feels very productive it is easy to fall into the trap of spending hours each day engaged in this to the exclusion of other equally or more important activities.
Even in the age of technology most people hear about jobs or get jobs through the personal relationships they build. A job-seeker who basks in the glow of their monitor most of the day is missing the opportunity to build and strengthen the key personal relationships that are essential to success. The point is to not stop using the Web to search and to apply for jobs – but to limit the time spent doing this so there is the opportunity to meet the people who will help you along your path. One strategy could be to spend part of the morning on-line with the rest of the day put aside for research, building a network, contacting employers and targeting resumes and cover letters.
Your computer can be your best friend or that spiteful imp that undermines your career or job search. Learn how to turn your computer, tablet or phone into a tool that simplifies your life and keeps you on task and you will have the beginnings of a beautiful relationship.