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While technology can be overwhelming — or frustrating — at times, embracing it has advantages.
This is especially true if you’re on the hunt for a new job, perhaps a little later in life. Tech also can help you once you secure new part- or full-time employment or contract and freelance work.
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“I’m coaching people who are immediately intimidated because the people interviewing them are younger than their kids,” says Loretta Barr, executive coach and career coach at Korn Ferry. The Los Angeles-based consulting firm has offices worldwide and also does recruitment work.
“Focus on what you can do and not what you can’t do,” she says. “But yes, tech can in fact help better your chances of landing a job.”
Follow these steps to let technology help you find a new job and get hired.
1. Clean up your social media
A potential recruiter won’t hire you solely on the strength of your résumé and an interview. Around two-thirds of companies today will check your social media posts, too, to seek a sense of the kind of person you are. If they employ firms to do background checks, your online life is guaranteed to be perused.
“Social media never dies,” Barr says. “Potential employers will most certainly search you up as part of a basic background check. … Don’t give them anything that causes them to pause.”
Even if your posts are old, go through all the platforms you’re on to remove inappropriate comments that might be conceived as harassing or insulting, photos that include parties with a lot of drinking and smoking, and images that might be too sexual. Take down posts that complain about your job or boss.
You can remove posts or photos one by one or delete them in bulk. And don’t forget to update your online biographies if you haven’t looked at them for years.
2. Get a professional email address
Email will likely be the primary means of communication with a potential employer.
While your internet service provider will give you an email address, a free account on the web allows you to log in from virtually any device anywhere in the world and access all your messages. You can keep the same address if you move or decide to switch carriers.
Popular email services include Gmail, iCloud, Outlook, Proton Mail and Yahoo! Mail. With so many options available, knowing which one to use can be confusing. You may want one specifically for your job search that is a version of your name without additional numbers, nicknames or slang.
Once you have an account, you can create an email signature with your contact information that will automatically append to the end of your message. If you’re communicating with someone at a company, you can send your email during the workday even if you’ve completed an application late at night.
3. Master word processors, spreadsheets, other office software
The minimum skill for any white-collar job and almost every other job is a basic knowledge of office productivity programs, such as a word processor, spreadsheet or presentation software.
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