10 Ways to use online resources to find your dream role

Online Resources are helpful for finding a job, as proved by Maxwell Stephens in this article

Most of us spend a great deal of time online, whether it’s for interacting with people using social media or generally browsing and catching up on world events. So using these online resources to best effect can be helpful for many reasons, one of which is for the purpose of finding a new job. In order to ensure you stand out during the interview process, it is important to take steps to ensure you are well prepared and you are showing yourself in the best possible light. The interview is the only chance you get to show you are the right person for the job, which is why it is of upmost importance to conduct as much research as possible relating to the company, the role and what the employer is looking for.

These ten methods should help give you the best possible chance of success throughout the recruitment process.

1. Research the Company
If you have been invited to attend an interview, you should conduct thorough research on the company, not just by looking on the website but also their social media. You may find recent blogs they have posted on Facebook and Twitter which might contain some relevant news, which you may wish to mention at the interview stage. You might also get an indication of how the new role came about. If you show that you have researched well and know a lot about the company, it will give you a better chance of being successful at interview stage and obtaining your dream role.

2. Profile previous employees
When we attend an interview, we are often going into it blindfolded, with no idea about who we are up against, or whether we have the kind of profile that the interviewer will be looking for. In most cases, an interviewer will not just choose a candidate based on their experience and attitude, but also the likelihood of them being able to fit in with the culture of the company. In order to get a better idea as to whether you might fit the bill, you can use social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, to conduct a search on those who currently work for the business and what their backgrounds are like. This may give you a better insight into what they are looking for and the type of people they usually recruit into the business.

3. Find out about interests
If you have detail about the interviewers, you may want to use social media to find out more about them. If you can find some information on their interests, you can try and find a way of slotting this into the interview. It should be very general though, you don’t want them to think you are stalking their page.

4. Search Key Terms
Many of us have the tendency to just scan the job description, without really paying close attention to what the employer is looking for. If you really want to get the job, you need to be thorough when reading the job spec, so you can base your answers around the key skills required for the role. Take the most prominent key words and perform an online search to see if there are any recent articles relating to it. For example, if the job spec says that you need to have a good understanding of the employment law, it is not simply enough to go into the interview and say you know about it, when the question is asked. You need to be prepared to have examples of recent changes to the law, such as maternity and paternity leave and flexible working legislation. The greater your research, the more you will know and the better prepared you will be to answer any questions.

5. Highlight Key Skills
Most employers will check your social media accounts, particularly your LinkedIn profile, prior to inviting you to attend interview. This is commonplace now, as employers want to make sure that your CV is accurate. A good way to enhance your chances of success is to update your profile to reflect some of the key skills relating to the job profile. Of course, you should only mention skills you actually have, you shouldn’t put up any inaccurate information. In doing this, the employer will instantly feel that you are a good fit for the role.

6. Endorsements
Endorsements on LinkedIn are just like testimonials and references; they show employers that you have been recommended and this can help you to stand out above other candidates. In many cases, previous employers won’t just add endorsements to your profile, you will have to ask them if they will provide these for you. If the employer does check your LinkedIn profile prior to or after the interview, it may put you in a better position to get the job.

7. Networking
Networking is a popular method used to grow your contacts and it is widely used for professional purposes. Networking can not only help you to find out about opportunities before they are advertised but also to gain useful information about a specific employer. You can use networking to find out about the culture of the company and what they look for in their employees. This information can be highly important at interview stage, as it shows you have taken time to research the company and what they stand for. This will set you out from other candidates. If you think about yourself as the business owner and if you were looking for people to join your business, you would want to know that the candidates had a thorough understanding of what you do and your values. Many candidates don’t take the time to do this so if you do, you will put yourself in a good position to obtaining your dream job.

8. Maintain Professionalism
As employers often check social media before hiring a candidate, it is imperative that they have the right impression of you and one which is professional. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have photos on your Facebook of your nights out but it may be worth keeping them private, for only your friends and family to see. LinkedIn in particular is for professional use only, so always maintain professionalism on this social media platform as it is one of the main sources employers will use to find out more about you.

9. News Articles
An employer will be impressed if you are up-to-date on any recent news relating to the company, for instance, have they recently obtained a new client or project? This can be useful when you are asked the inevitable, do you have any questions for us? You may want to say something like, I heard you recently obtained a new client, how do you see that affecting the business? Or perhaps, is that why this new role has come up? In doing this, it shows you have a genuine interest in the company and are not just interested in the role (even if this is the case.) Again, it is useful to put yourself in the position of the employer and what you would want to hear from the interviewee.

10. Competitors
It is also useful to gain an understanding of the organisation’s competitors and you can usually find out this information by searching for similar companies in similar industries. If successful in getting the role, you will be expected to play your part in helping to set the company apart from their competitors and without the background knowledge of who they are, you won’t know how you can make a difference. It can be time consuming to conduct research, but if you really want to get your dream job, it will be worth putting in the extra effort.

Peter Forshaw. Managing Director, Maxwell Stephens