Technology has become vital for career advancement in today’s job market. The number of American workers who use the internet for job searching has doubled between 2005 and 2015, with 54 percent of American job seekers now doing research online, Pew Research data shows. Employers are also using technology to fill positions, with 70 percent of companies now using social media to screen candidates, up from 11 percent in 2006 and 60 percent in 2016. One-third of companies even have a full-time dedicated social recruiter in their human resources department.
In this recruiting environment, knowing how to use technology effectively can be a big boost to your job hunt and career advancement. Here are three ways you can use technology to advance your career.
Use Distance Learning to Improve Your Job Skills
One way technology can help you advance your career is by empowering you to improve your skill set through distance learning. Increasingly, employers in fields such as IT, health care and finance are looking for workers who possess specific credentials, which can be obtained by earning a certificate through a short course rather than a full degree program. Earning certification in an in-demand area can be a fast track to boosting your career, says Dr. Katharine Hansen, author of several books on job seeking.
You can earn many certificates as well as some full degrees by taking online distance learning courses. Career colleges such as Penn Foster and massive open online course (MOOC) providers such as Coursera offer online distance learning opportunities you can pursue from home on your own schedule.
Connect with Employers through Social Media
With employers looking for workers through social media, social sites such as LinkedIn represent one of the most powerful technology tools you can use in your job hunt. An effective LinkedIn job search starts with a good profile. Make sure your profile matches the type of job you’re looking for by doing keyword research to find out what terms recruiters in the field you want are using. The biggest mistake most job hunters make is designing their LinkedIn profile to reflect their current job rather than the type of position they’re seeking, says Wasserman Center for Career Development associate vice president and executive director Trudy Steinfeld.
After you’ve got your profile fine-tuned, there are several strategies you can use to connect with prospective employers, says career expert Alison Doyle. The more LinkedIn connections you have, the better your odds of connecting with the right employer; you’ll have the best odds if you can connect with workers at companies where you’re seeking employment. Request recommendations and endorsements to enhance your profile. Make the most of LinkedIn’s search tool by narrowing your search down through keywords, locations, zip codes or advanced search options such as job function, company, industry, experience level and date posted.
Ace Interviews with Video Chat
If you’re job hunting in today’s market, you should be prepared to do a video interview. Over six in ten companies now conduct interviews by video conference, an OfficeTeam survey found. In many cases, these interviews are conducted by computers rather than human interviewers. To nail a video interview, it’s prudent to have a smartphone with a superior video camera. For instance, the iPhone 7 has a 7 MP FaceTime HD camera to support video chat in addition to its 12 MP wide angle camera.
Distance learning, social media and video chat are three technology tools that can help you in your job hunt. Using these tools effectively can help you acquire the skills you need, connect with quality employers and ace your interview for your dream job.