Buying on the internet could be the easiest thing ever. You might even say that if you can’t buy it online, it doesn’t exist. You can even buy things that scientifically don’t exist (we won’t go ‘there’, but you can use your imagination). But finding a job is like turning yourself into a product and selling that product is the real challenge. When you googled ‘jobs’ after you graduated, whether you knew it or not, you became an entrepreneur my friend, congratulations!
If you haven’t googled jobs. Seriously try it out.
You probably already know a lot more about this than you think. In terms of jobs and hiring, the biggest websites (outside of the immortal facebook/twitter duopoly) you need to understand and participate in are LinkedIn and Craigslist. If this isn’t new information to you, carry on.
That’s right, small businesses and even corporations are turning to candid searches on LinkedIn during their recruiting process. Why? Simply put: it’s a free, self-validating, and very simple first check for candidate-quality.
The free part is easy to understand, but when I say self-validation I’m really talking about social capital. LinkedIn does something amazing for you right out of the box, offering a metric to grade you, not on what you think of yourself, but rather on what your professional network thinks about you.
These magic numbers come from endorsements. Prospective hire-ers can verify your resume against your endorsements and make instant value judgements about who you are as a person. If that sounds inaccurate and unfair, it is. People are inherently lazy. Don’t expect anyone (especially in HR) to do extra work when they have a solution right in front of them that looks good on paper.
My advice is to spend some quality time with your LinkedIn. Think of it like quitting smoking. Every time you would waste 5 minutes trolling facebook or reddit, find something useful to do on LinkedIn and improve your profile. If you haven’t already spent a good amount of time polishing your LinkedIn credentials, you are behind the power curve -- plug it in and get crackin’.
Now let’s go back more than a decade, to a time before Youtube. When everyone (hypothetically) downloaded files illegally through clients like bearshare and Kazaa. Yes, a time most can remember, when Craigslist still looked, well, archaic.
The internet has come a long way since then, yet we are still using that humorously simple site which remains the place to find couches, apartments, and casual encounters.
If you’re looking for jobs out of college, becoming a craigslist wizard is a great first step. All kinds of work is out there, especially if you’re looking for temp jobs to fill the cracks left by an unpaid internship or your student loan payments -- you just need to take the time to look and be open to new opportunities and adventures.