Easy Ways To Go More Digital for Your Career
How to start using Pinterest, Twitter and Skype
(This article appeared previously on AOLJobs.com)
Today, there are plenty of employed people who are hanging onto their jobs for their dear lives because they know their positions are becoming more technologically advanced and they haven't updated their skills. Similarly, an increasing portion of today's unemployed boomers were laid off because they don't have the necessary digital or tech skills and are poorly positioned to land a new job in their field.
Don't Be Intimidated by Digital
Moran's advice: You can't keep up with everything so just start to keep up with something — anything.
My advice: You can teach an old dog new tricks. Pick a trick and learn it.
A secret about digital channels from Facebook to Pinterest — they're generally easy to learn and use. But here's the problem with most digital platforms: their tutorials are awful. The secret is to find tools from books at the library to YouTube training videos to actual courses on services such as Lynda.com and just start experimenting.
To get you started, here are three key social media platforms you should no longer ignore, plus ideas for getting started in easy, non-threatening ways.
This service has a large female following and is a great tool if you're interviewing for a job that targets women aged 25-54. Pinterest is also very popular in wedding and event planning and should be a “must have” for any would-be event planner, catering service, or hospitality facility.
Look up the names of key experts or authors in your industry. You'll be surprised how many have Twitter accounts. Start following them as well.
After you find a dozen or so people to follow, log into your Twitter account regularly to scan your news stream. Click on at least three to five links daily or weekly and start learning from the experts.
If you get a bit braver, start re-tweeting those expert links on your own Twitter feed. Don't worry about tweeting original content or about having followers. This is about becoming familiar with the platform. After you've built some confidence, you can add Twitter to your resumé.
Started in 2003, Skype is not new, but many still don't know how to use it, don't have web cams, or don't see a need for the service. Skype became an instant hit with those who have relatives overseas because it allowed for free or low-cost phone and video calls. It's also a boon to parents of college kids who want to see a face rather than just hear a voice.
Increasingly, employers and recruiters use Skype as a phone screen to see a potential employee, test the employee's familiarity with the digital medium and save the cost of flying employees in for face-to-face interviews for relocation jobs. I had several Skype interviews with a recruiter and was scheduled for follow-up Skype interviews with a potential employer when I landed my current job.
Skype is easiest with the newer computers, laptops, or iPads that come with built in webcams, but if you don't have a new computer, get yourself to an electronics store to invest in a webcam.
Next, right under your email address, add your Skype name on your resumé and you'll automatically look more hip and become easier to interview by recruiters and employers.
So next time you're wondering why the job market is so tough or why it's taking you so long to land a position, consider whether you've availed yourself of digital options to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
As Moran concludes: “...the most important key to success is not knowledge. It's bravery.”
Employers want people who can help move the company ahead by being growth-oriented and willing to use new technology, new techniques and attempt new ventures. Displaying digital capabilities on your resumé and profiles is a great way of showing that you're not afraid to embrace the future and all its potential.
Rhona Bronson is an AOLJobs.com contributor. She has spent more than 30 years in marketing and communications positions with well-known consumer product and media brands. After being laid off as a Senior VP of Marketing in 2009, she started a marketing and consulting company in North Jersey. She later led a marketing group for a regional newspaper in South Jersey. Laid off again in 2013, Bronson conducted a focused job search resulting in her newest position as Director of Marketing for the Delaware River and Bay Authority.