How to Use The Internet to Build Your Career
The internet is rightly considered one of the most in the world to help us communicate, share and receive information. Social media allows us to build and maintain friendships like never before, and news media keeps us up to date with global affairs.
But what about the internet’s effects on the job market and your career? How can the internet be used to boost one’s career prospects, giving you the edge when you’re applying for jobs? This article looks at the benefits of the internet for job-searching and skills-building towards your ideal career.
Online Job Listings
Job listings posted online help individuals to connect with the jobs that they’re searching for. It’s rather hard to imagine what job searches were like before the digital age. Now, logging into your job website of choice, you’re able to type in keywords and customize your search based on variables such as location, wage, and hour structure.
So job sites help you find your dream job – but they’re also useful in directing your career progression, and pointing you towards the skills you’ll need . By taking a sweeping overview of the job market in your chosen sector, you’ll learn:
- The major players in terms of employers
- The availability of jobs in your field
- The wage you’ll be able to expect, and the hours you’ll have to work
- The experience you will be required to possess in order to apply
- The skills that are essential, and those that are desirable for jobs you want
All of this information will be useful in eventually directing your efforts towards your ideal job – and informing you about the steps you’ll be expected to have taken before applying.
From YouTube tutorials through to advanced higher education courses presented online, the internet is a near-infinite treasure chest of educational opportunities. For sweeping overviews, there’s Wikipedia, what feels like a comprehensive online encyclopedia. Specialist information is available on specific blogs and websites, and then there are those educational platforms that have been produced to school you methodically in realms as diverse as language-acquisition and marketing techniques.
One of the finest examples of online education comes in the form of online degree programs. For instance, online Masters in Teaching programs can be taken entirely over the internet, with coarse guidance, feedback, tasks, and lectures all coordinated through an online educational platform. So for those skills you’ve found yourself lacking in for your dream job, you’ll be able to build them – with certification – in the online sphere.
The rise of LinkedIn, the social media platform for careers, beautifully filled a very clear gap in the online networking space. If you’ve not got a LinkedIn account, it’s well worth setting one up. You’ll be able to show off your experience, education, and skills on a profile page that recruiters and HR specialists are likely to visit – and sometimes these visits lead to job offers and interview opportunities.
As well as LinkedIn, many young professionals are turning to the blogging space to set up a kind of online resumé. Presenting yourself online in this way has the following benefits:
- You can show off your portfolio in an exciting and enticing way
- You’ll be able to hyperlink your text to other sites on the internet
- The contact details you provide – for yourself and your references – will be easy to copy and paste into emails
- You’re better able to send out a website URL to those companies you’re applying for
- You can add touches of individuality that’ll help you sell yourself
In the modern world, with so many web users applying for the same job, it’s imperative that your online presence is strong, seductive and professional. It’s therefore advisable that, alongside your online resumé and your LinkedIn account, you clean up your social media profiles, or make them private, to avoid employers finding compromising material from your past.
Specialists in fields across all industries are easily found online. They write blogs or lecture at universities or guest edit online magazines, and you’ll always be able to find their contact details, with which you can network your way into better jobs or special events. If you’re desperate for advice, an introduction, or merely a new contact in the area that you’re aiming to work in, sending some introductory emails to these specialists online might provide your big break.
You also are likely to have your own bank of friends and contacts on your existing social media accounts. Your Facebook friends, Twitter followers and Instagram contacts all form extensions of your real-world network, who may also be invaluable in helping your career in the long-run.
Perhaps since the last time you checked, a friend from high school has taken a role at a company you’re interested in working for. Or, friends you made on holiday to the UK happen to have contacts in the industry that you’re working tirelessly to break into. Hold your online contacts close, because they may well help you achieve your ideal career.
Sometimes in life, we’re forced to work in jobs that are far from ideal. Whether you’re getting experience in lower-level roles before your leap into the big time, or you’ve been forced to take a job simply to help you scrape by, you may feel decidedly uninspired by your career at the present moment.
However, it’s not to say that you can’t embark upon self-motivated side projects, using the internet as your tool for exposure, freelance opportunities, and information gathering. Whatever you’re working towards, your 9-5 job isn’t the only time that you should be concentrating on your career. Driven individuals are famously dedicated to the idea of self-progression, and there’s nothing like the internet to help you achieve your goals in your spare time.
This article aims to inspire you to build your dream career by pointing out the multiple ways in which the internet can be used as a tool to help you develop skills, make useful contacts, sell yourself to employers, and find the jobs that’ll help you build the ideal career you’ve been dreaming of.
James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.