Job seekers have had to adapt to a new normal of job seeking and interviewing completely online or virtually. It may have been difficult for some, and others would have just dived straight in and carried on as usual. Whichever experience you had, virtual job seeking, interviewing, and working from home is here to stay. It isn’t likely to make up 100% of the job market anymore, now most of us are able to go back to some kind of normal but having the skills necessary to job seek and interview virtually can open up many more opportunities.
Whether you are starting your first job search, or you just need to touch up on some skills, this guide has something for everyone. We talk about everything from setting your goals, searching online to the actual interview, and starting your new role. Whether we like it or not, job seeking has evolved and it’s up to you to stay in the loop.
Job seeking is all about knowing what you want and setting goals that align with the achievements you want to make. We’re constantly told that thinking about and actually setting a goal, gives us a greater possibility of actually achieving them. So, we know we have to set goals, but how do you start?
When job searching you should ask yourself 3 questions:
- What kind of job do you want? (Sector, title, etc.)
- When do you want to have this role by?
- How can this role help you with your overall career progression?
These may seem like simple questions to begin with, but they can narrow down your search and save you a lot of time. Knowing the title, or a couple of similar ones, can help you search through job sites.
Giving yourself a time frame can help you know how much work you have to do and when you want it done by. It’s important to give yourself a good enough amount of time to actually achieve this goal. Job seeking is hard and has a lot of other factors and people involved in it. So, if you don’t achieve a specific time or date, get a new one and keep going. It’s all about being realistic.
Jobs are not just for the employer’s sake, if having a job that is going to provide you with the ability to learn new skills and help you achieve a 5-10-year career plan, then add this into your goals.
Once you have set the goals, it’s important to try and stick to a schedule in order to achieve them. You also need to believe in your ability. We may all have days that are difficult and knock our confidence, but you have skills and strengths, just remember you can use them to achieve this as well.
If you want to read more about career goals, how to set them and more. Use the resources below!
When you are searching for roles online and using other online job seeking resources, it’s important to have a look and refresh your digital presence to ensure you have all of the correct details included. A digital make-over can be as simple as updating your updated CV onto the job boards you use. However, it is also good to take a long look at how you portray yourself online and this means social media as well.
Before anything, you should ensure your CV and cover letter is up to date. Ideally, you will be tailoring these to the different roles you apply for but having a solid ‘template’ at the ready, you will be saving yourself a lot of time. There are loads of sites that you could have potentially uploaded your CV to. Most job boards allow you to upload, LinkedIn and even recruitment companies will have your CV in their system. (If you’ve put it there) Take note of all the online resources you will be using and ensure that everything has been changed. There’s nothing worse than using a job board and submitting an old CV to an employer. A simple mistake that can easily be avoided.
You also want to try and ensure that the documents you are submitting to employers are ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) friendly. Employers use these systems to make their life easier and ensure that they only read CV’s that are best suited for a role. ATS applications sift through thousands of applications and can potentially mean your CV doesn’t make it into the employer’s hand. This is a big reason to tailor your CV’s. Make sure you are using the format stated in the job spec, use key words from the description they provide you and if relevant, try to make your CV industry specific.
Finally, who would have a digital make-over and not include their social media pages? You’ve probably heard it hundreds of times before, but social media makes it very easy for employers to find you online and you don’t want anything embarrassing and unprofessional popping onto their feed. So put your social media pages on private and don’t post anything inappropriate. Make sure you are using LinkedIn appropriately and post regularly! People want to see that you are active and involved in the industry!
For more help on your digital ‘make-over’, how to do it and why, use the links below!
Your network is always going to play a vital part in any long-term job search. If this is the beginning of your first job search, then people you meet along the way, old colleagues and even friends and family can form the base of your professional network.
Networking throughout your search and your career can help you access opportunities that you may not be able to find on your own. Your professional network is something you build over time and takes commitment. However, it has the potential to allow you to communicate with loads of different people and give you insight into different fields in your industry. The people you connect with from now can help you learn new things and potentially help you, if not now, in the future with new roles. Networking is ongoing, you need to work on the relationships you build and ensure that you are helping them as much as they are helping you.
Of course, not everything has to be done in person now, there are many different ways you can find new contacts online and maintain a professional relationship. You can find likeminded people on social media, through online industry events, webinars, email and even job fairs. You are not limited, and it all depends on how much work you are willing to put in.
Social media pages – There is a huge amount of people that use social media, so finding someone that can help you is quite easy. LinkedIn is usually the place to start, but don’t disregard other social platforms if they work for you and your job search.
Industry events – Online events, either with your current workplace or for something else is a great place to meet new people. Although online doesn’t offer you the ability to talk to people in person, having things like ‘break-out rooms’ allow occupants to meet and talk to others. Ask questions and get to know some new people!
Webinars – Webinars are often a place to learn something new, but because they are usually live there is also usually a place for you to introduce yourself and/or ask questions. Some webinars have an option to ask questions and leave details, so this can be a new and interesting place to talk to people who are interested in the same things.
Job fairs – Online job fairs may feel like a weird concept at first, but technology has come such a log way and they try their best to make you feel like you’re at a real event. Some even make the site look and feel like companies have their own booths. Where you can click in, talk to new people and ask any questions you may have. Even if you don’t find a job or employer for you, take down their details and keep them for later. You never know what opportunities may arise later.
Job seeking online can feel a little lonely at times, so ensuring you have a community with you along the way can feel like a huge help.
Searching for jobs online used to just mean scrolling through job sites endlessly, saving jobs that interest you and going back later to apply for them. Okay, many people still do this, and it is a staple in job seeking that we can’t get rid of. However, doing the same thing day in and day out can be tiring and de-motivating. So, it might be time to add a bit of something different into your routine.
As stated above, if you have a well-established network, it is a possibility to find jobs to apply for through people you know. As well as this, there are industry events, exhibitions, job fairs, recruitment consultants and even employer open days. Even though things are continuously moving forward, and we are able to work in an office again and attend some interviews, there will always be room for online job seeking. Employers have realised that if they put themselves online, they open themselves up to a whole new pool of talent. Just because they don’t live nearby doesn’t mean they can’t work for them. So, online job searching, and interviewing is going to keep happening, companies cannot afford to not do it!
You can also do it whilst on the move. There are apps for most job seeking sites and more sites and platforms are accessible with most technology than ever before. This means that you can job search and interview from absolutely anywhere! It’s pretty amazing and not only gives employers and opportunity to find new talent, but for you to find a role that you might not have been able to consider before! Online may be something that took us some time to get used to, but it is definitely here to stay. Brushing up on your skills and techniques now, is going to help you in the long run.
For more information about job searching online, you can use the resources below:
Telephone interviews tend to be the first stage of an interview process but not all employers begin this way. So, it’s best to prepare anyway and get used to this type of interviewing if you have never done it before. It can feel a bit daunting at first, especially if you’re like me and prefer when you can see the person you are talking to. However, these kinds of interviews happen so the employer can get to know you a little better. Typically, they’re not as long and they don’t ask as many long-winded questions, more of a ‘get to know you’ situation.
However, still do your research. This is likely to be the first stage of the process and your time is just as important as the employers, so use it wisely. Ask them questions about the role, about the company and if you feel like the job description has some things missing, ask them about it. Now is the time to have a better understanding of the job role and if it’s not for you, you can pull out after this stage. Interviewing is a two-way street.
The interviewer can’t see you, so your verbal skills will be important. They aren’t going to be able to see your facial expressions or your body language, so you need to come to terms with using the correct tone of voice. When nervous, it’s very easy to talk quicky, to try and get everything out. However, try and keep a steady pace and ensure that they can hear you and understand you correctly. This is something you might want to practice beforehand.
Overall, phone interviews can be integral for employers and candidates. It can help you determine if you want to carry on in the process and doesn’t take too much of your time. Once you get used to them and the nerves begin to settle, I’m sure you will see them as a very good resource.
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You should be used to talking to people virtually by now and if not with employers, then it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to prepare. There is an etiquette to video interviews, just like in-person ones. You need to be dressed for the part and try to have a quiet area where no one or anything will distract you. You need to be looking directly at the person you are talking to and if there are multiple people conducting the interview, make sure you address them when talking to or asking them a question.
There are some things that can take some getting used to and it’s normal to feel a bit nervous during your first few video interviews, but you will get the hang of it. There are some things you can be doing to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible. For example:
- Have a quiet place ready to start the interview
- Get your computer / tech ready 30 minutes early to ensure that everything is working
- Make sure you have a well-lit room (They want to be able to see you)
- Try and pick somewhere with few distractions in the background (if possible)
- Do a WIFI check
- Ensure that you have everything you need already beside you
There are a few things listed that you wouldn’t usually have to worry about in a face-to-face interview and most of them include your technology. This is the part that is most likely to let you down when you need it the most, so be prepared to have a back up plan.
Other than that, it’s pretty much like any other interview. You introduce yourself, give some background, answer their questions in the best way possible and ensure that you have your own questions prepared. Seems simple enough right?
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Trying something new can be nerve wracking, but once you get used to the changes and realise that job seeking and interviewing virtually can open up many more opportunities, you might just start to realise it’s what your job search needed all along.