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  • Using the Job Boards to Grow Your Career

    keyboard-1905884_640It’s never been easier.

    The job boards are making it very easy to understand what roles are in demand and about updated job descriptions and skills are for today’s workforce.

    FACT:
    Millennials will change jobs four times by the age of 32

    This is not a slight to Millennials. It’s a fact of the modern workplace. In another post I’ll talk about the modern workplace and how Millennials are changing it.

    Knowing what’s in demand and knowing where you and your skill sets lineup are critical to maximize your value, and to be honest your enjoyment, in whatever career you choose.

    But, I’m not looking!

    Whether or not you’re actively looking for a change in your career it’s a good idea to stay on top of the job boards and the current job postings to see what skills are being valued and where you may need to enhance your skills.

    What should you be keeping track of?

    There is no specific answer here. However, because of the power of the internet you can set alerts and monitor companies and roles in ways you never could before.

    A few of the things I look for are below. You’ll want to create your own criterion.

    • Job Titles – These are always changing. Sometimes it seems they change just to throw off the search engines. Other times they change because the market changes. Of course, some roles today didn’t exist 5 years ago. If you are a pioneer in your field … you may need to look for semi-obscure titles to get a real-feel for what’s going on.
    • Companies – I have found by using these FREE resources that companies I’ve never heard of pop up. Other companies I have heard of often come up, but with roles and regions I didn’t expect. It’s an easy way to see where companies are growing too.
    • Job Descriptions – Your current role may morph over time. And, your future role may require skills you don’t have today. Reading the job descriptions of your current role and for future roles can provide insight into areas you may need to enhance for your next move.

    Note: They aren’t always academic in nature. Meaning you may not need another degree. There are others things that are valued. Find them.

    • Locations – Even if you aren’t looking to make a move it is often insightful to see that some companies gravitate towards a specific location (Austin has been hot for a while) then the interest will fade as those areas get staffed up. If you were ever considering a move … this is a trend you may want to watch.

    FREE Resources at your Fingertips

    It’s never been easier. There are a lot of resources out there that are free for your use. Or, may require a minimal level of commitment such as a login or sharing your information (usually just an email address) sometimes sharing information about your current or past employers (Glassdoor).

    Here are three FREE resources you can start using today.

    Note: I’m not endorsing or recommending any of these sites specifically. They are just well known tools in the industry.

    However, you can use these today to get a good perspective on titles, job descriptions and rough salary expectations. All for a few minutes of your time at the keyboard.

    Pro Tip: Use Alerts to make them do the work for you. They will also let you sign up to alerts for specific rules, specific cities, and even specific companies. Beware: Their alerts can get a bit spammy!

    Using the Corporate Career / Jobs Page

    What about signing up on a specific company career site?

    Many companies allow you to sign up on their website (or use 3rd party services) to drop your resume and interest into their “pool of talent” for consideration.

    A lot of companies, certainly a lot of them in the tech space, have an option to insert your information into their human resource system and they promise to keep you updated on roles. I personally don’t think this is a great idea. It gives the companies far too much information. Information that they haven’t paid for, and to be honest, they don’t deserve. If you have a different opinion I’d love to hear about it.

    The Cost of Doing Nothing

    Of course, as with all things you can choose to do nothing. However, be apprised that others are doing something and they are using tools like this to evaluate the job market, their current skill level, and their salary expectations. Doing nothing means you’re missing out. Your career is at stake. Doing something is important. And, it’s never been easier.

    Why bother doing this?

    The obvious answer is, if and when your job changes, and trust me it will. You’ll have a good perspective of the skills that are being valued in the market at the time. You’ll also have a good perspective of the job titles that are being hired at the time. And you’ll be much more plugged into the community, the economy, and the overall business environment. These are all good things that will help you stand out in your career.

    Spending a few minutes to search these FREE resources is a quick sanity check to confirm what you may already know. Or, you just might find out some new information that can help you continue to grow and advance your career.

    Pro Tip: Check your current company too! You never know what you’ll find.

    Everything Changes

    Every industry changes over time.

    • HR – From the current misnomer of Human Resources (aka HR) to what Laszlo Bock (former Google exec) calls People Operations in Work Rules.
    • Sales – Sales roles have changes from the very obvious Sales Manager to the more obscure Business Development Manager.
    • Marketing – There are a lot more specific roles for social, vertical and other industry specific scenarios. Keeping track of them is a task these tools can surface very easily.

    Using these FREE resources is a quick, simple, and automated way to keep tabs on your industry, your chosen career, and perhaps where you want to go next.

    It’s never been easier.

    What have you learned by using job boards? What other resources do you recommend? Add your comment here so we all can benefit from your experience.

    avatar

    Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2. He is currently consulting with Microsoft and partners to drive Community Engagement and Alliances. Follow him on Twitter @jshuey or on LinkedIn: in/JeffShuey

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