Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What's Worth the Effort in Job Searching -- and What's Not

It can be exhausting looking for a job. There's the old saying that "looking for a job is a job." In addition to writing a resume and cover letter, you're now supposed to monitor social media and look for ways to "brand" yourself to prospective employers.

But Illana Gershon, an Indiana University professor of anthropology and author of "Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find and (or Don't Find) Work Today," offers some good news for job seekers: you can cut back on some of your efforts because they are a waste of your time.

Specifically, Gershon says that no one on the hiring side cares about personal branding. She says that personal branding takes a lot of time, and simply isn't worth it.

What does work?

She says it's worth your time to:

  • Research potential employers. It's important to know about companies, their culture and the kind of work they offer. It doesn't make sense to seek an interview with a company that has a very conservative culture when you want to work in a place that lets you keep your blue hair and bring your pet guinea pig to work every day.
  • Stay active on LinkedIn. Many recruiters search LinkedIn profiles to see if they can find a good fit, so using the right keywords is important. 
  • Reach out to your strongest ties. Don't waste your time trying to find where the jobs may be -- seek information from people you know. "Having someone who knew you from a previous job and can talk about what you are like as a worker -- was very helpful for people," she says.

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