Job Searching for Dummies: What Are the New Rules?

Job Search DummiesJob searching has dramatically changed over the past few years — from the need to create and maintain a personal brand, to job searching like it’s your career. Though it may be tough out there, it’s not impossible to land your dream job. However, it’s important to realize that the old way of doing things may not work anymore. Gone are the days of cold applying, doing little to no networking, or landing a job without a connection within. Job seekers need to be smart and strategic to land their ideal jobs.

So, if you find yourself a little lost and need a different way to find a career, check out these new rules for job seekers:

Rule #1: Part of your job search needs to happen online. In the past it was absolutely possible to scour newspaper ads, go to career fairs, or call companies directly to see if they were hiring. Though these tactics may still work, part of your job search needs to happen online because you’ll likely find more opportunities there.

However, don’t limit yourself to just one strategy, like looking at what jobs are available for your industry. Network on Twitter, use LinkedIn as a complement to your resume, connect with employers directly through, create an online portfolio, etc. Every online tactic can increase the chances of you finding and gaining employment. Take advantage of every resource on the Web.

Rule #2: Be your own recruiter. These days, the job search is ultimately in your hands. You no longer need to rely on a headhunter, your former employers or references. You need to be your own recruiter because, ultimately, no one is going to do the work for you.

How do you become your own recruiter when you are having a hard time even finding the right opportunity? It may be a process, but keep the following tactics in mind when taking the reins:

  • Create a LinkedIn profile and connect with those in your industry
  • Set up Google Alerts focused on target companies or organizational categories
  • Network as much as you can, both online and off
  • Announce your job search on your social networks so people know you’re looking
  • Create a consistent brand so employers know you are who you say you are

By being your own recruiter, you’ll not only be able to manage your job search better, you’ll be able to cater your search more efficiently. After all, no one knows you better than yourself.

Rule #3: You have more control than you think. You may believe employers are the only ones who can give you the green light – but you have more control that you think. Think about it: if you give an employer every reason to hire you, why wouldn’t they, particularly if they need to fill a position quickly?

You can run your own job search show. Create meaningful content such as blog posts, maintain your social networks by monitoring what people are saying and implementing privacy settings, and put your accomplishments out there (for example, how your work moved a company from Point A to Point B).

The point with this rule is simple: you have the power to control the way your job search goes. You just need to steer yourself in the right direction first, differentiate yourself through branding, and give an employer a reason to give your application more than just a glance.

What are some other new rules for job seekers?

Guest Expert:

Mary Marino is the founder of, a job search resource that inspires job seekers to become their own recruiter. has launched its “Occupation Pipeline” widget, a unique tool which enables users to perform broader career searches by sourcing occupations and employers, rather than job titles. Connect with Mary and on Twitter and Facebook.





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