The Digital Job Hunt: Why the Game Has Changed and How to Win
Job hunters: from here on out, you’re going to be judged from a distance. The days of marching into restaurants and asking for a job are dwindling. Although it can make an impression, most managers will ask you to just submit an application online.
Don’t take offense. That’s just the manager’s way of saying, “Hey, I’m crazy busy. I’m already getting tons of applications online, and I’d rather review them on my smartphone when I’m not walking miles around my restaurant. It’s a more efficient way to find people, and I need you to try it.”
If you want to get hired by a restaurant — or land most service jobs — you need to play this game. You need to dominate the job search with digital and social acumen. To beat out the competition, I’d recommend three strategies:
Start Using Your Smartphone or Tablet
If you insist on visiting every restaurant, you’ll miss the window of opportunity. Based on studies we examined at Red Book Connect, 7 out of 10 job seekers use mobile devices to find jobs. In fact, 27 percent of job seekers search from bed, 16 percent from work, and 7 percent are hunting in the bathroom. If you can job hunt from anywhere, why not do it? That 70 percent of job seekers will beat you every time — unless you go mobile, too.
Fix Up Your Social Profiles
Do you have a Facebook timeline filled with political rants and raunchy memes? Is your profile pic a selfie from a Friday night out? Ninety-three percent of recruiters are likely to look at your social profiles, so fix them immediately. Recruiters expect you to have the common sense to not put your shenanigans on social media. However, employers want a sense of your education, experience, interests and personality. So, be authentic, but professional.
Social media is a two-way street – present your best self, but don’t forget to follow or “like” potential employers. Their posts will give you a sense of the business’s personality and help you submit the strongest application possible.
Work the Referral
Although most job applicants are too lazy to get a referral, it is the surest way to lock down a job. Of all candidates, only 7 percent are referred, yet referrals account for 40 percent of hires, and they are hired 55 percent faster than the average candidate. This shouldn’t come as a surprise: people are tribal. We trust recommendations from friends and acquaintances, and we look out for our circle. Don’t be shy about tapping your network for a referral or introduction. Remember to pay it forward: people want your job too, and you’ll get some karma points for helping others.
If you want a restaurant or service job, get on your mobile device, clean up your social media profiles, and get that referral. The digital job hunts requires you to make an impression from a distance. Don’t disappoint.