Harnessing hi-tech in the hunt for that perfect job

man looking at old job adverts and woman on a computer tablet From classifieds to mobile apps, how do you keep up with the changing technology to win your dream job?

Job listings have changed since the days of newspaper classified ads. It's never been easier to find situations vacant or to apply for them at the press of a button.

But it can be easy to get carried away and apply for hundreds of jobs without tailoring your applications or being as effective as you need to be.

In the new frontier of job hunting how do you find the right position and stand out to increase your chances of getting an interview and ultimately landing the job you want?

"With technology it's much easier. The biggest difference is the speed in which we can communicate," says Dennis Masel, chief operating officer at Creative Circle, a US staffing agency.

Mr Masel, who started his career in the staffing business in 1999, says PDF files, mobile devices and fast internet have transformed the way he works.

New platforms, new opportunities

Start Quote

Lance Savitsky

Sometimes positions are filled within the span of hours”

End Quote Lance Savitsky Simply Hired

"I used to personally lug the old portfolios to a client's office and I would drop them off there at the reception desk with 40 other portfolios and pray that my candidates would get noticed," he says.

"Now I can send a graphic designer, a writer, somebody's portfolio to a client within seconds."

Some companies have developed their own mobile apps and web-based career resources to simplify the process.

Jobseekers can post their resume or CV online and apply for posts with a single mouse click. And it is not only computers but also mobile.

"One third of our traffic today comes from mobile," says Subha Shetty, director of product marketing at Simply Hired, a job listing site based in Sunnyvale, California.

It is one of hundreds of job sites that operate around the world.

Is this the best way of finding a job? Peter Bowes reports

Three steps to success

A frequently heard complaint about online job sites is that some employers do not acknowledge or follow up on the applications they receive.

It results in candidates becoming disillusioned and less inclined to click on new jobs.

Old-school etiquette

how to get a job now branding

Despite digital technology transforming the job search process, when you come to meet a potential employer face-to-face you still have to remember some old-fashioned tips.

Lauren Ferrara, a recruiter at Creative Circle, a US staffing agency, has this advice:

• They may have a digital application form but you still need a resume or CV on paper. Always bring multiple copies and bring a way to show a portfolio if you have one.

• Don't assume they're going to have a laptop or wi-fi. Be prepared on your own.

• Appear knowledgeable. Research the company and re-read the job description; know what you're going to be talking about.

• Know whom you're meeting: Research the interviewer and make sure you ask for the person's card.

• Say "thank you": I like to send an email and a follow-up with a written note because it shows thought. They'll remember that in the long run.

So how do you stay focused and stand out? Lance Savitsky, of Simply Hired, says three steps can help.

First he advises candidates to reach out to online networking connections at the company where you want to work.

"It'll help you tremendously. By making a personal connection you could essentially bubble up your application so that it stands out and gets noticed by people."

Second, he says, you must react quickly when you see a job you want.

"Every position that you are interested in, you have to imagine that the teaming hoards of zombies, they're all coming after that same position. You've got to be quick, you've got to be looking for the jobs on the go, you've got to essentially use every tactic that you can in that toolkit. Sometimes positions are filled within the span of hours."

Third, use email alerts on job listing sites and filter to get only the ones you want.

"I absolutely love email alerts because I can get exactly the jobs that interest me coming directly to my inbox every day, all the new jobs, and it's really easy for me to basically discover what positions I might be interested in," he says.

"Put keywords in, how broad of a location you want to search and your experience and get exactly what you want. You want to maximise the value of the time you are putting into your job search."

More Business stories

RSS

Business Live

  1.  
    Shell earnings Kamal Ahmed BBC Business editor

    As the first of the major oil companies to report its figures for last year, Shell plays the role of the canary in the coal mine - or on the oil rig. After a rather sickly 2013, profits are actually up. But the impact of the low oil price is clearly biting. The company announced that it would be cutting investment over the next three years in new exploration and the development of oil and gas fields, a move that will raise fresh concerns about its business in the North Sea.

     
  2.  
    08:19: House prices
    The sun illuminates property in the historic city centre of Bath

    Nationwide says house price growth got off to a weak start in January with property values up just 0.3% in the month and 3.8% higher than the same month a year earlier. That marks the lowest rates of house price growth for 14 months.

     
  3.  
    Saudi oil Via Email Neil Carter, Business live reader from Devon

    "In the eighties it was one to three dollars a barrel. Today I expect that it is in the region of six to eight dollars. Some newer fields may have higher costs due to higher exploration and extraction costs, so maybe ten to twenty dollars a barrel."

     
  4.  
    07:55: Diageo results Radio 5 live

    "The results today show we are seeing a pick up in momentum," Diageo's John Kennedy tells Radio 5 live breakfast. "If you look at the overall picture... we've seen an emerging market slowdown... but the big developed markets... are performing well despite a muted recovery particularly in Europe." India is performing strongly, as is Mexico, he adds.

     
  5.  
    07:51: Diageo results
    guinness

    Distillers Diageo say profit for the six months to the end of December dropped to £1.36bn from £1.65bn as the pound strengthened and they suffered "lower income from associates and joint ventures".

     
  6.  
    07:41: Shell earnings

    Shell's has also pulled $15bn of investment in oil exploration over the next three years. It says organic capital investment in 2015 is expected to be lower than 2014 levels. "Shell has options to further reduce spending, but we are not over-reacting to current low oil prices and keeping our best opportunities on the table," it adds.

     
  7.  
    07:24: New fund BBC Radio 4

    Nigel Wilson, chief executive of asset manager and insurer Legal & General, says the firm will put £1.5bn for a new infrastructure fund in the UK on Today. "We are very long-term investors - 20, 30, 40, 50, years," he says. Longer-term financing from fund managers like him are the future rather than shorter-term bank lending, he says. Will £1.5bn be enough? He's attracting outside investors and will borrow money to grow the fund to about £25bn.

     
  8.  
    07:15: Royal Mail chairman
    mail

    Donald Brydon will step down as chairman of Royal Mail, the company says. The company is looking for a new one. Mr Brydon will carry on until the firm's annual meeting in the summer.

     
  9.  
    07:10: Shell earnings

    Shell has reported full year earnings (on a current cost of supply basis) of $19bn compared with $16.7bn a year earlier. Fourth quarter earnings were also higher at $4.2bn compared with $2.2bn for the same quarter a year ago.

     
  10.  
    06:58: Eurozone union BBC Radio 4

    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney yesterday said the eurozone needs fiscal union to manage monetary union. James Bevan, an asset manager CCLA, tells Today "a root cause of the problem is absence of growth," low money rates alone won't get growth going.

     
  11.  
    06:48: Shell results
    Car lights are seen streaking past an oil rig extracting petroleum

    Some discussion here on the business livepage as to just how cheap it really is to extract oil in Saudi Arabia. So we thought we'd open it up to the floor. How much do you think it costs Saudi Arabia - per barrel - to extract oil from the ground. Send your answers to bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweet @bbcbbusiness. Usual rules apply: no peeking at the internet.

     
  12.  
    06:38: Shell results Radio 5 live

    How does the lower oil price affect alternative ways of exploring for oil such as shale? Michael Hewson of CMC markets tells Wake Up to Money shale oil exploration is largely dead in the water. Getting shale oil out of the ground is still far more expensive than getting oil out of the ground in Saudi Arabia, he says. What pushed up Saudi Arabia's oil extraction costs was the welfare programme the country introduced when the Arab Spring broke out in 2011. He adds Saudi Arabia can live with a low oil price for a long time.

     
  13.  
    06:23: Shell results Radio 5 live

    "I think there is a good chance that we could see a reduction in [Shell's] dividend and that could affect pension funds here in the UK," Michael Hewson of CMC markets tells Wake Up to Money. He doesn't see that happening just yet, but if the oil price continues to fall, or stays low for a long time, then he thinks it is unavoidable.

     
  14.  
    06:11: Shell results Radio 5 live

    Michael Hewson of CMC markets tells Wake Up to Money he expects Shell's revenues will be slightly lower when it publishes results later this morning. He is, naturally, interested in how Shell is coping with the lower oil price. He doesn't think "we've hit bottom yet" in terms of oil prices. "The Saudi's have still got their foot to the floor in terms of market share," he says. "The low hanging fruit in terms of getting oil of out the ground is gone," he adds.

     
  15.  
    06:01: Apple analysis
    apple

    Apple caught up with Samsung as the world's biggest smartphone seller in the fourth quarter of 2014, thanks to booming sales of its new iPhone 6, market researcher Strategy Analytics said. Strategy Analytics said Apple flogged 74.5 million handsets in the fourth quarter, compared to 51 million a year ago. Samsung shifted the same number, which for them was a reduction from 86 million the previous year.

     
  16.  
    06:01: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Morning. Do get in touch at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweet us @bbcbusiness.

     
  17.  
    06:00: Howard Mustoe Business reporter

    Good morning everyone. Overnight, McDonald's has said Don Thompson will retire as chief executive of the fast food firm to be replaced by British-born Steve Easterbrook, the company's current chief brand officer. We have house price data from the Land Registry at 09:30 and Shell's results to look forward to. Stay tuned.

     

Features

From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • Virtual courtroomClick Watch

    The 'forensic holodeck’ system that recreates crime scenes as 3D virtual worlds

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.