In this age of endless information, it can be especially difficult for job seekers, who are already facing a tough job market, to decipher through all the code and figure out what options will work best for them:
To social network or not to social network?
To produce a video resume or not to produce one?
To hire a resume writer or not to hire one?
To work with endless numbers of recruiters or just a few?
To post your resume on this site or that one or all of them?
To blog or not to blog?
To make cold calls or not to?
To take a part-time job or not to?
And these are just some of the broader questions that job seekers today face. Here are some of the narrow ones:
To ask certain types of questions during an interview or networking meeting or not to?
To expand your resume to three pages or keep it at two?
To attend this networking meeting or that one or both?
To pay for e-mail resume distribution services or just apply to positions one at a time?
To write a cover letter or not to?
To build a Google profile or not to?
And of course the list could go on. I mean, is conducting a job search really all that complicated these days?
The short (but no less complex) answer is "yes and no." The basic concept of a job search has not really changed; it's just the tools that have. And with so many possibilities, job seekers can eat up their entire day just figuring out which ones are feasible and best for them.
So what is a job seeker to do?
First things first is to get the basics right. Focus on the aspects of finding employment that have not changed: Networking; connecting with decision makers; establishing a clear, direct target; and putting your best foot forward. Setting these attributes as the foundation for your job search will help you filter through all the rest of it.
The next step is to know just how much time in a day or week you have to conducting your job search and, most importantly, focusing on those things that actually put you in contact with solid job opportunities, recruiters, and leads. Social networks are great. Video resumes are a nice touch. But make sure those things are not just time suckers; make sure they actually touch base with your target audience. Know beforehand how you plan on using them.
By starting with the basics, job seekers can sift through all the information out there and decide what strategy they will take. Remember, the end game is to secure employment. Period. Being savvy for the sake of saying your savvy is just, well, off the mark.