3 things jobseekers should know in this digital age


3 things jobseekers should know in this digital age

Dear Jobseeker,

The era of ‘tarmacking’ is coming to an end. Forget about walking from one office to another with your CV tucked in that ugly brown A4 envelope. Times have changed, and your job hunting skills need to change along with it.

In days of yore, getting a job for the ‘unconnected’ involved hundreds of shillings worth of photocopied resumes and hours of sweet talking stone-faced receptionists to slip your CV to Mkubwa.

Of Fridays, jobseekers would crowd newsstands, pen and paper in hand, to find out about the latest vacancies. Those who had a few shillings to spare would purchase the paper, passing it on to the next job-hunter when they had perused though the vacancy announcements.

As U.S. President John F. Kennedy said, “Change is the law of life.” Advancements in the technology sector have revolutionized numerous industries, and human resource has not been left behind.

So if you are looking for employment now, the old school job hunting tactics just won’t do. Here are some new skills that you need to apprise yourself of:

From newspaper listings to job boards

Human resource managers are moving away from dishing out hundreds of thousands to publish job openings in the dailies. Save for very senior roles, which must be published in the papers as per recruitment policies, companies are posting vacancies on their corporate websites.

Even state agencies have caught on to this trend. Instead of publishing pages upon pages information about the available vacancies, they have opted to list the available jobs, directing interested individuals to go online for the job details.

So does this mean you have to keep skimming though countless corporate career pages during your job hunt? Not really- there are certain websites that are dedicated to publishing the latest vacancies. Not only do these online job boards aggregate the latest openings, they even give you the option of registering for sector specific email alerts.

But a word of caution: before you send your application, be sure to confirm that the company you are applying to actually has that opening. With high youth unemployment in the country, many people are opening fake career websites in a bid to generate digital advertising revenue from the high traffic jobseekers generate.

Additionally, avoid giving personal information such as banking details, ID and PIN numbers online. These can be used in phishing scams and identity theft.

Online application forms

paper
Judicial Service Commission staff sifts through 80,000 applications received from Kenyans who responded to an advertisement for 1,000 jobs. (Photo: Courtesy)

 

When I was in Primary school, I once paid a visit to a family friend who was a recruitment officer in a prestigious private company. Her office was littered with stacks of brown envelopes and there was a large box of similar looking parcels by her desk.

Curious, I asked what was going on with the documents and she explained that she was reviewing CVs for a recent opening at her firm. At that young age, I felt sorry for her and the tedious task that was before her.

But this, thankfully, is not the case anymore. Recruiters now have online forms which candidates fill when they are submitting their applications. These online forms help them sift through the thousands of applications though a simple click of a button.

What does this mean for you? Your CV and cover letter are no longer the only things that a human resource officer looks at when they assess your eligibility for a role. Often, these documents are assessed after the system sifts through thousands of applicants. Take time to go through the questions on the online forms. Type out your answers on Word and proofread them before pasting them on the system.

 

Digital background checks

Have you ever googled your name? Well, maybe you should because this is most likely the first background check a future employer will do on you. What pictures have you uploaded on the ‘interwebs’?

In this digital age, the internet is your first referee. Make sure that there is nothing but good about you on that digital space. Though the internet never forgets, you can start by deleting social media posts that portray you in a negative light. Next, review your security settings to ensure that people cannot tag you in images and posts without your permission,

Be proactive about the professional information that you have online. Join networks like LinkedIn and regularly update your career progress. Remember, online reputation management is not just about avoiding negative information-it is also about portraying yourself in the best light possible.

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Joy Chelagat
Story By Joy Chelagat
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