“You’re hired!” For countless job seekers searching for gainful employment or fresh career opportunities in 2010, these are the words they’re longing to hear. The good news for those currently job hunting being that slow, but steady signs of economic recovery are finally beginning to show, with businesses likelier to be staffing up once again in the coming year.
Realize, however, whether new to the concept of high-tech career building or an old hand at the job hunting process – finding the right position, let alone the kind of gig you’ve been dreaming of, won’t be a cakewalk. Not only are overall staffing levels likely to be lower at both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies in the immediate to mid-term future. You’ll also be competing with more prospective job candidates (and better-trained workers at that) than ever before.
Knowing this, it begs the obvious question: How to get on potential employers’ radar, let alone stand out amongst an already overcrowded pack? Thankfully, it’s a snap with the power of the Internet at your fingertips, says Digital Trends’ own resident editor Scott Steinberg. “Finding work, making a name for yourself and standing out as a subject matter expert in your chosen field is easier than given the wealth of online tools and services at your disposal,” he explains.
From better resume building and personal branding to constructing an unbeatable professional network online, here are a few of his favorite tips for growing awareness, establishing credibility and sending your career prospects soaring.
Keep Your Skills Sharp
“Education is expensive, but don’t forget that over the long run, the lack of crucial knowledge or experience can be costlier still,” he says. Given the speed at which today’s increasingly technology-fueled world operates and evolves, Steinberg insists, best practices change daily, as must we all in order to stay relevant and valuable to our respective organization.
As such, keeping one’s skill set current is vital, with the greatest rewards and highest chances of success accruing to those who invest in their own continuing education. “Let others screw around and waste days watching Days of Our Lives reruns, slowly becoming more outmoded and out of practice all the while,” he says. “You should be constantly be focused on spending your time becoming more well-informed and capable, and therefore of greater worth to any given enterprise.”
Happily, those who can’t find the spare cash or time to spring for night courses or an MBA on the side aren’t out luck either. Not only do dozens of universities offer fully-accredited online programs that let you sharpen your talents or grow your skill set for a fraction of the cost or time. Countless free online resources from downloadable eBooks, webinars and audio/video tutorials let you brush up on virtually any subject, while local libraries and organizations also provide beginner- to expert-level educational programs for pennies on the dollar. So get smart, he insists: “What’s more valuable than an investment in your own future?”