Finding employment in the electronic age

In an ever-expanding digital world, the days of pounding the pavement on the hunt for employment are essentially over. Even many retail and entry-level positions require job seekers to apply online, which makes the internet an invaluable resource for today’s job seekers.

According to a 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center, a majority of U.S. adults – 54 percent – have gone online to seek out job information. Another 45 percent have applied for a job online. However, even though the internet has taken center stage, the survey found some would find today’s digital job-seeking behaviors difficult to accomplish.

Among the survey’s key findings:

Among Americans who looked for work over a two-year period, 79 percent utilized online resources in their most recent job.

Taken together, 80 percent of recent job seekers made use of professional contacts, close friends or family and/or more distant personal connections in their most recent search for employment – nearly identical to the 79 percent who utilized resources and information they found online.

Job seeking is going mobile: 28 percent of Americans have used a smartphone as part of a job search, and half of them have used their smartphone to fill out a job application.

Ninety-four percent of tech-savvy job seekers have used their phone to browse or research job listings. At the same time, many are using their phones for much more complex tasks: 50 percent of smartphone job seekers have used their smartphone to fill out an online job application and 23 percent have used their smartphone to create a resume or cover letter.

A minority of Americans would find it challenging to engage in tasks such as creating a professional resume, using email to contact potential employers or filling out a job application online.

Some 17 percent of Americans indicate that it would not be easy to create a professional resume if they needed to do so. Another 21 percent said that it would not be easy to highlight their employment skills using a personal website or social media profile.

In many cases, Americans who might benefit the most from being able to perform those behaviors effectively are the ones who find them most challenging.

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