Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Digital comes to the rescue of sad job applicants

For those of you who don't know me, I'm currently finishing up my senior year at U-Maryland and that involves finding a job. Though the Dii team keeps letting me come back, I'm still out searching for that shiny first full-time job. I'm not much of a fan of the whole job search. I think many would agree that it's tedious and frustrating.

Well today I got excited. 

Mashable featured an article today about a new internet venture that wants to help organize your job search. The site is called StartWire and links up to your LinkedIn or Facebook. Essentially what this does, is aggregate your open job applications into one spot, and keeps track of the status of each one. They'll send you updates via email, and suggest other places you might apply based on your profile. According to Mashable, the fine people at StartWire will also look at your open applications and tell you which of your connections you should ask for a reference.
Credit to Mashable for the image. I couldn't look at my own analysis because I don't have my resume on this computer...womp.
I don't know about you guys, but to me this is like a dream. The reminders are great, the interface looks simple, and the functionality sounds amazing. The caveat is that the companies you're applying to have to be registered with StartWire. According to the site about 5,400 employers have signed up, and for that I thank them. Hopefully as word spreads, more will join up and less people will feel like they're in a void.

I'll stop gushing now and throw out some takeaways. First, services like this further illustrate the importance of a digital profile. The number of employers that use online profiles in their searches increases every day. Over the summer LinkedIn released a new button for career sites that lets you apply for a job solely with your LinkedIn profile. If you're looking for a job, build out your profiles and have more than one. LinkedIn is a must but don't stop there. Clean up your Facebook into something you can be proud of. Start using Twitter or a blog for thought leadership and to show you're up to date on trends. Check out as a simple, visual way to show yourself off. There are a ton of other ways to make yourself known on the web and as long as you take them serious they can be of benefit. 

To businesses, let me be the first to say, there's nothing more disappointing than applying for a job at one of your favorite companies and never hearing back from them. That being said, companies where jobs are highly competitive should be the first to get on this. If your HR department is receiving more resumes than they can count, this can be a way for them to avoid having to contact each applicant, while at the same time avoid looking like jerks. A service like this can help brands stay consistent in just one more area. If your brand is supposed to be fun, friendly, or emphasize customer service, and you fail to respond to applications, I personally think that hurts your equity and makes you less believable. Your brand should be the same inside and out. Using StartWire can at the very least automatically notify applicants if they are rejected so they can go on with their search. It may not be personal, but it's better than nothing. 

For more information, check out the article at Mashable or go to the source and join up! Happy hunting.

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