NEW YORK -- With an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, finding a job is still top of mind for millions of Americans, many of whom will need to find jobs in places that may seem unconventional compared to decades ago. The way Whitney Holtzman, 27, found her previous job surprised even her.
"I happened to be looking on Craigslist one day and came across a position for social media coordinator for Major League Baseball," she said. "On Craigslist, which completely blew my mind and, in fact, I wasn't even sure it was legitimate."
It was legitimate and she was hired. The job hunt has gone digital because that's where the recruiters are. According to a social recruit survey by Jobvite, 73 percent of recruiters said they have hired through social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter; 44 percent said recruiting this way increased both the quality and quantity of candidates.
"I'll go on LinkedIn and look for people from companies that are competitors to my clients," said career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine. "I'll look for people who have skills. I'll look at specific key words."
This technology is akin to online dating. Employers comb through millions of resumes to pinpoint the best potential match, while job hunters spend hours spiffing up their online profiles to look as attractive as possible. Ceniza-Levine says people looking for work have to embrace the online search.
"Even if you're pounding the pavement and applying to a local store, if your local store is a branch of a much bigger company, they might even ask you to apply online," she said.
Whitney wasn't looking when she read about a digital marketing agency while waiting for a plane. She immediately contacted the CEO Gary Vaynerchuk.
"I got on the plane, figured out Gary's email address and emailed him out of the blue saying I just read about you at Gate D4 and I need to come work for you," she said.
It worked. She's now an account manager there. But for those who think the art of personal contact is dead, rest assured that technology can only get you in the door. To land the job, you still need to nail the interview.