I have worked my whole life and recently was out of a job – a very unnatural state for me. I got my first job at the age of 13 – you guessed it – delivering newspapers! That was back in the 80’s. I had two paper routes with the Montreal Gazette and made $100 a month. I got the job through my brother who also had a paper route and who introduced me to the route supervisor. When I turned 16, I wanted to get a job that paid more – at least minimum wage. Back then, the best way to find a job was to hit the pavement. Just like a game of hopscotch, I hopped from door to door of the businesses on my street filling out application forms, whether they had “help wanted” signs or not. I got my first job at the store I visited regularly as a customer – only because they knew me as a customer did they hire me (I had no relevant experience). Looking for a job back in the 80’s was a lot of leg work – in the literal meaning. Going door to door on foot, by bus, by metro and presenting yourself in person trying to act professional.
The job seeking process has evolved indeed where all this “leg work” can now be done from the comforts of your desk or palms of your hands thanks to computers and mobile devices using social media. Application forms today can be filled out & sent out quickly making it easier to apply to a multitude of jobs every day. Networking has always existed – like when my brother introduced me to the paper route supervisor and when the owner hired me based on simply knowing me as one of his customers. In this day and age, networking can be done so efficiently and presented professionally via social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook – hence permitting an exponential amount of contacts and references and I think upping your chances of getting a job. Or maybe not. Is it just me or is the competition fierce? The personal touch of applying for jobs in person has disappeared. Do you think presenting yourself in person – the old fashioned way – makes a greater impact compared to presenting an electronic profile to market yourself? It certainly increases the amount of applications employers receive hence increases the competition.
But I have to admit, today’s job search process is so much broader – there are so may more possibilities now. When you consider the extent of use of social media, it’s amazing what it has to offer: you can apply from anywhere anytime, work from any city, prepare for an interview by watching YouTube or reading blogs, interview over video like Skype, and more.
Do you think there’s more “leg work” involved in “selling yourself” by applying for jobs the old fashioned way or in today’s social media world?