Most people are not currently conducting proactive job searches. At best, most job seekers only implement a couple of strategies with no consideration for their personal brands or productivity. Often, these job seekers have resigned themselves to simply using a job board to occasionally look for open roles.
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Today, in an effort to help job seekers be more proactive in their searches, I want to share four resources they can add to their lists. These resources will be especially useful for you if you fit into one or more of the following categories:
Ex-offenders re-entering the workforce
Those who have been searching for jobs for a long time to no avail
Those who want to create or build personal brands that help them stand out
People of color who are entering a field dominated largely by people who do not look like them
I've known about this useful resource for several years, but it's rarely referred to or talked about. In many U.S. cities, you can dial 211 for all kinds of local resources – especially if you need affordable food, housing, and utilities.
You can go to the site and type in your zip code to see relevant information and resource centers. The site can also help you find job information and re-entry resources. It is particularly helpful if you're an ex-offender.
Job seekers can use GoodHire's "True Me" platform to conduct self-background checks that allow them to see what employers will see when they conduct background checks. If negative information pops up, then the job seeker can annotate their file to explain themselves and tell a complete story of their work history.
In addition to having a professional website of your own, you may want to try to reach hiring managers and recruiters via their smartphones. Thanks to AppyPie, you can build an app of your own – even if you don't know how to code.
Think about it: Building a website used to be a complicated process, and now anyone can do it in a matter of minutes. It looks like apps are progressing in the same way. Your own personal app could be the place where you fans, networking contacts, recruiters, and potential employers go to learn more about you.
The Blendoor app combats potential racial, ethnic, age, or gender bias by matching people with jobs based on their skills, work experience, and education alone. It is a merit-based, "blind" recruiting platform that forces companies to vet candidates according to their business value alone.
Stephanie Lampkin, CEO and founder of Blendoor, says the app removes "unconscious bias" from the hiring process by cutting personal information such as names and photos out of the picture until a match has been made.
Today's job seekers must be creative if they want to stand out and get the attention of hiring managers. Of course, you have to understand that a proactive job search is a 360-degree approach. You can't just wait until you're desperate for a job. Position yourself to attract employers to you while you are pursuing them.
Mark Anthony Dyson is a career consultant, the host and producer of "The Voice of Job Seekers" podcast, and founder of the blog by the same name.