Tech boss: How technology has affected career networking

Modern technologies have affected the job search process, allowing for better efficiency on both sides of the career searching table. Mireya Sol Ruiz | Multimedia Journalist

By Tyler Bui | Staff Writer

Over the past 10 years, the job search process has evolved due to technology advancements, with platforms like LinkedIn and Handshake becoming a near necessity in the current job search process.

Kenneth Buckley, assistant dean of career management at Baylor, said technology has made the job market more accessible.

“I think technology has enhanced people’s ability to get a job,” Buckley said. “I think technology is an amazing bridge to success, but I feel like it’s just a piece of the puzzle of your career. You need to know how to use it for your benefit, but you have to realize that you have to be a person that people want to hire, not just a digital image on a screen that people want to see.”

Buckley said that prior to 2010, the internet was already widely utilized to search for jobs; however, specialized platforms like Handshake did not yet exist.

“I think 10 years ago, students would go online, and if they didn’t find jobs they would simply go through company sites and apply online,” Buckley said. “They would send out their resume or hand it out to people. It was not nearly efficient as the process we have today. It’s much easier on students.”

Baylor was one of the first schools to bring Handshake, a college job search program, to campus, and today there are over 900 universities that utilize this platform.

Shelby Cefaratti, marketing and communications coordinator at the Baylor Career Center, said technology advancements have been beneficial to students regarding the ability to apply for jobs and the wide range of jobs available today.

“The more you utilize the technology and the resources that are available, the better chance you have of getting the job you’re looking for,” Cefaratti said. “You didn’t have things like LinkedIn and Indeed. You didn’t have all of these job search engines, so you looked where you could. I think now, it’s easier to find different jobs, but it’s also more challenging because there are so many more options.”

Cefaratti said the job search process has become more of a science given the aid that technology provides to employers and applicants alike.

“I think [the job search process] has gotten more focused,” Cefaratti said. “I think it has become a bit more of a science than it used to be – just the focus on tailoring everything to the specific job and being more clear. Technology has most definitely had an impact on this.”

Cefaratti said employers are looking for a more tailored resume and application to their specific company and position, which has not been the case in the past.

“A resume is really handcrafted to each position, and I feel like that is different than it used to be,” Cefaratti said. “Now, you look at the job description and you try to tailor what you’re offering to what they’re asking for. The cover letter is more personal, and research is everything. All of these things have become much more important in the past 10 years, that if you don’t do these things, you’re not doing any service for yourself.”

Cefaratti said that not only have the tools of the job search process changed, but the way networking has as well.

“We now have social media for our jobs, and that’s a huge change,” Cefaratti said. “Networking is easier. The computer resources have been a complete [game] changer. Networking has gotten even more important. All these things that may have not been understood before are coming to the front line now.”

Buckley said factors like the rise of social media have completely changed the job search process.

“Most students today are more comfortable texting or even emailing as opposed to speaking face to face,” Buckley said. “Everyone has their head down in their phones, so there’s not a lot of traditional face-to-face interaction. Networking has become really interesting because in many ways, technology helps you with respect to research and representing yourself, but it’s a tool you use [in order to] get face to face with people to try and sell yourself.”

He said an individual’s social media must reflect the skills and experience on their resume and display the assets they can bring to the employer’s company.

“In many ways, you are able to represent yourself through your social media, whether it’s you or not,” Buckley said. “But from an employment standpoint, they want to know you when you’re not behind your computer screen or your cellphone. Your resume, your social media and even your LinkedIn must all tie together and paint a picture of you and why someone would want to hire you.”

Looking ahead into the next decade, Buckley said he thinks technology will become increasingly important in the job search process.

“I think you have to be keenly aware of the technology platforms and the technology vehicles that exist out there in order to give you as much of an advantage as you can,” Buckley said. “To me, technology, at least as far as I can see in the future, is only going to be a bigger and more important presence and enabler to our students’ success.”