The rise of social media culminated the presence of the Internet ‘slacktivist.’ Coined in 1995, ‘slacktivism’ is a negative term that combines slacker and activism; it creates a facade of doing something meaningful, but in reality, your actions have little effect and practicality.
The term is mainly used for alleged supporters of social and/or political causes, but the actions of slacktivism transcend this usage. Many treat the job search as their own personal cause, yet at the same time, substitute effective strategies for minimal changes hoping that it’s substantial enough to get the resume read, land that interview, or nab that position. During the search, you will hear “no” and you will get rejected, but it’s no excuse to put forth minimal effort. In the end, you’ll only be sending yourself backwards.
Here are three ways to avoid being a slacktivist during your job search:
Tailor Your Hiring Materials. When applying for positions, numbers don’t matter. If you sent out fifty resumes, you may think you did something right. However, if none of them were adjusted and tailored for the employer and position, you can expect not to hear back. ‘Spray and pray’ methods often don’t pan out. Generic cover letter and resume techniques are easy to spot and will give the impression to employers that you don’t care enough about the job to explicitly state why you’re the right fit for the job.
Networking Offline. While social media is great for making those instant-gratification connections, you will miss out on creating others if you don’t get offline. Look for a professional organization in your field and attend an event they host. Mixers, conferences, meetings, and luncheons are all great opportunities for connecting with employers, professionals, and other job seekers. Plus, networking this way can often lead to referrals and recommendations for jobs that may not be posted online, or better, that are created just for you.
Keep Track of Everything. Diligent note taking and organization will go along way in your search. Why? When you start to analyze what you can change and do better, having information about your actions can stop you from doing the same things over again and expecting different results. For your own sanity, staying organized with all of your login information, as well as names and notes of hiring managers/employers, will help you stay on track when you feel your job search is at a halt.
Slacktivism may permeate online, but it shouldn’t invade your job search. Be sure to stay self-aware and curb any tendencies that can negatively impact your efforts – even if it feels right at the time.
What do you think? How else can you avoid slacktivism in the job search? What are ways to tell if you are one? Share your thoughts in the comments below!