Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A little knowledge is a competitive thing

In the introduction of my Beyond Job Boards presentation, I tell everyone that the talk is about tactics. I don't want anyone to think that a few Internet search tips are a substitute for a solid job search strategy. I do suggest that online sources and techniques can make you more competitive in the job market, if you're willing to expand your knowledge of what's out there.

It's probably a safe assumption that today's professionals have at least a minimal knowledge of how to use the Internet. They use email and the web, and they use Google to find things. When it comes to using the Internet in a job search, they know about employer web sites and the big job boards, but that's about it. Most people haven't discovered RSS, they don't understand blogs, and they don't discover social networking until they're in the job market. They don't benefit from these things because they're new, which creates an opportunity for those who discover their value now.

Kathy Sierra posted this diagram on Creating Passionate Users, writing about the mismatch between product capabilities and their typical use. Think of the "product" in the diagram as all of the career-related benefits of the Internet:



Whether I'm working with an individual, speaking to a group, or writing here, my goal is to expand that circle of what jobseekers can actually do with their online tools. You'll never expand the purple circle to fill the green one, but you can be better informed, find more of what you're looking for, and help the right people find you. How big is your purple circle?

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