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How to Job Hunt Smarter, Not Harder

The following job-search tips can help you get the most out of your time and efforts during your search.

Submitting applications left and right? Not getting as many responses as you thought you would? Feel like applying is itself a full-time position? When you’re on the job hunt, it feels good to be busy. But constantly working isn’t always the same as being productive. The following job-search tips can help you get the most out of your time and efforts during your search.

Apply for jobs that interest you

Instead of a scattergun approach, you should be targeting specific jobs — the ones you actually can see yourself doing. Applying for a position that doesn’t interest you may work out in the end, but more often than not your lack of enthusiasm will come across on paper and during the interview. And even if you get offered the job, your intuition may tell you to turn it down. This is a time-waster for you and the hiring manager. In the long run, going after a job just to have one could set you back to square one — and back in the search sooner than you’d like.

Refine your job board strategy

The Internet is a great place to find jobs. But sometimes, it seems like there is screen after screen of results for every search term you plug in. Rather than squandering your time and straining your eyes, filter the results and set up email alerts to make your job hunt more efficient. CareerBuilder’s "Advanced Job Search" option, for instance, allows you to narrow the results you see based on a ton of criteria, include the commute distance and whether or not the job posting includes a stated salary.

Consider staffing agencies

Another great way to search smarter is to work with a reputable staffing agency. Professional recruiters make it their job, literally, to match you with the ideal position. They reach out to their vast network of employers to find jobs that dovetail with your career goals, experience, skills and passions. Some staffing agencies will provide you with career resources such as job-search tips and free training courses so you can brush up on hard and soft skills when between jobs. What’s more, reputable agencies charge employers to find workers, not the other way around, so you get a helping hand at no cost.

Use professional networking sites correctly

Professional networking sites are great resources when you’re on the job hunt, but only if you use them properly. Make sure you’ve thoughtfully completed all fields in your profile. Add samples of your work, if that’s applicable to your field. You’re less likely to attract attention when your profile lacks a photo, so make certain you upload a professional image. Additionally, follow companies you’re interested in and catch their eye by liking and commenting on their postings.

Take advantage of your online network and let them know, via a personalized message, that you’re on the market. One of the best job-search tips is to reach out to people you know. After all, your greatest chances of success will come from connections who can give personal recommendations, or at least put in a good word for you or make a quick introduction.

Send out targeted resumes

Are you sending out the same resume for all your jobs? If so, you’re not making the most of your job hunt. It’s likely your skills and experience qualify you to fulfill more than one job description, which is why you should tailor not just your cover letter but also your resume for each posting. There’s no need to craft a new one from scratch each time, however. Work from a boilerplate resume, and highlight different responsibilities and results as appropriate.

Mind the keywords

Many organizations use applicant tracking systems to find their ideal candidates. The right keywords can pull your application out of the digital pack and land it on a hiring manager’s desk. Tread lightly, though. Keyword stuffing is obvious, not to mention very annoying, to hiring managers.

If you’re devoting a lot of time to your job hunt without the commensurate return, it may be a sign you’re doing busywork or could be more effective in your approach. Take some time to evaluate your strategies, and then use the above job-search tips to make your search more efficient and successful.

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 400 staffing and consulting locations worldwide. For more information about our professional services, visit For additional career advice, read our blog at or follow us on social media at

6 Job-Search Tips to Help You Regain Your Momentum

To stay motivated and focused during this frustrating time, use these six job-search strategies to regain and maintain your momentum.

When your job search drags on for weeks and you feel no closer to landing a job than when you first started, it's easy to get discouraged. But even if you aren't getting the callbacks you were hoping for, now is not the time to call it quits. To stay motivated and focused during this frustrating time, use these six job-search strategies to regain and maintain your momentum.

1. Treat the search like a job

Unemployment often leads to an aimless feeling. The lack of a routine is a major reason your motivation may be waning, as it's a constant reminder of your situation. The key is to treat your search like a real job. Wake up at a reasonable hour and get dressed. Create a schedule with set times for phone calls, emails, social networking and job board searches. Make to-do lists and check off each item as you complete it. After you've completed your to-do list for the day, "clock out" and take part in any leisure activities you enjoy.

In other words, conduct yourself as if a boss were looking over your shoulder. Stay focused on your daily tasks and avoid playing a quick game of Solitaire or Candy Crush when you're supposed to be working. Little indulgences may seem like some of the few perks of unemployment, but they can lead to listlessness and a dip in job-search momentum.

2. Put yourself out there

As important as it is for you to be connected online, you also need to make sure you're occasionally leaving the house. Not only will this help you get out of a rut, but it can also help make you more marketable. Sign up for a class or go to job fairs, workshops, conferences and seminars, where you can meet people and brush up on your skills. Join professional associations and attend their meetings, where you can learn about trends in your field. Volunteer your time and skills with a worthwhile organization, where you can work on your soft skills like written and verbal communications. All of these things will deepen your network and help you find the right job.

3. Be proactive

Don't wait for opportunity to knock. Instead, take the initiative and knock on opportunity's door. In other words, even if the companies you're interested in don't list any current job openings, contact them anyway and express your desire to work there. This extra effort demonstrates enthusiasm and initiative, and hiring managers may take notice.

4. Track your progress

When you start to feel like you're going nowhere, take some time to create a method to track the efforts you've made. Write up a list of realistic short- and long-term goals with regard to your job search, and work toward them every day. For example, decide how many applications you'd like to send out this week, or this month. Set a goal for the number of networking events you're going to attend, and for the number of new people you're going to talk to about your search. Then keep track as you move toward the goal. That way, you'll have a tangible way to prove to yourself that you've made progress, something that can help keep you motivated as you continue to look for a job.

5. Consider other work options

A full-time job with a check direct-deposited to your account is not the only type of work out there. You can also expand your search to include part-time and contract work or set yourself up as a consultant or freelancer. Maybe you can barter your skills in exchange for goods and services.

Signing up with a staffing agency for temporary or project-based gigs can also be a productive approach. It can bring in extra income while you're looking for full-time work. Even better, some part-time or temporary gigs can turn into full-time jobs or long-term contracts. Even if they don't, though, they'll still allow you to make valuable contacts that will help you in your job search.

6. Relax, recharge, revive

Allowing a job search to take over your life is a sure way to burn out. Give yourself permission to take a break from the search at night and on weekends. When you make a point to relax and recharge for a few hours at the end of the work day, you'll be able to start fresh the next day. A change of scenery and new experiences may give you a new perspective on your search and even your career.

The key to finding employment is to keep at it. Don't let a lull discourage you to the point of giving up. By following these job-search tips and persevering, you'll greatly increase your chances of finding full-time work that is satisfying and rewarding.

Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 400 staffing and consulting locations worldwide. For more information about our professional services, visit For additional career advice, read our blog at or follow us on social media at

11 Ways to Help Your Job Search in 5 Minutes

If you’ve got five minutes, you can move your job search forward with any of these 11 actions.

You may not think you have enough time to make progress in your job search. But if you’ve got five minutes, you can move your search forward with any of these 11 actions:

  1. Replace the objective statement. "Replace the objective statement at the top of your resume with a branded headline that conveys your value to the reader, i.e., ‘Registered nurse committed to providing safe, effective patient care," says Laurie Berenson, certified master resume writer and founder of Sterling Career Concepts LLC.

  2. Connect with your network. "Connect with one person from your network with whom you haven’t spoken in at least one month," Berenson advises. "Pick up the phone, too — don’t rely on emailing."

  3. Update your social profiles. "Update your LinkedIn profile content for two reasons: First, to keep it current, but also so the activity puts your name in front of every one of your contacts as a network update on their home page," Berenson says.

  4. Conduct research. "A lack of basic understanding of the agency’s mission and/or philosophy shows a lack of preparation and interest," says Natasha R.W. Eldridge, founding partner and director of human resources for Eldridge Overton Educational Programs.

  5. Make your voicemail more professional. "Remove ringtones and silly voicemail recordings from voicemail," Eldridge says. "I am not going to leave a professional message on the voicemail of an applicant that has music blasting as a ringtone. It shows me that job searching is not a priority."

  6. Prepare for the interview. "Preparation is everything," says Bruce A. Hurwitz, president and CEO of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing Ltd. "Make up a list of the questions you do not want to be asked; then answer them in the company of a friend. Tell the friend you want honest feedback to make certain that you are giving confident, credible and professional-sounding answers. Once you are comfortable with the difficult questions ... you will be more than prepared for the ‘easy’ questions."

  7. Join industry associations. "Contact and join a local professional association," says Raina Kropp, HR talent partner at Vistage International. "Sometimes you can get student or in-transition discounts. Don’t be afraid to ask. These are the people you want to network with since they could be your future manager or colleague."

  8. Clean up your resume. "Remove irrelevant experience from your resume," says Katie Niekrash, senior managing director of the recruitment firm Execu-Search. "While the summer after college that you spent scooping ice cream may have been the best [time] of your life, it doesn’t really apply to a career in finance. Pick and choose your relevant experience, and tailor it to the job you’re applying for."

  9. Get your references ready. "Prepare your list of references before the interview," Niekrash says. "Once you have confirmed your two to three references, create a simple document that lists all the relevant information the employer would need to know about them — name, title, contact info., etc. Bring this document with you to all your interviews, so this way, if the hiring manager asks you for your references, you’ll be prepared and look organized."

  10. Stay organized. "Create a master list for all the jobs you apply for. The key to a successful job search is organization," Niekrash says. "To do this, create an Excel spreadsheet that contains a row for each job you apply for, and include these columns: the date you applied; the company; the contact; the position for which you applied; how you applied; if, when and with whom you interviewed; when you should next follow up or what your next steps are; and the current status of the application. Creating this document should only take a few minutes, and updating it as you proactively apply for jobs should only take a few seconds."

  11. Proofread your materials. "Read your LinkedIn profile, resume and other job-search materials backward," says Karen Southall Watts, business consultant, coach and speaker. "That’s right — read from the last sentence to the first sentence. This editing technique forces you to examine each sentence separately and keeps you from skipping over mistakes because you know what you meant to say next. By reading your materials backward, you can avoid those common typos and errors that plague all of us when our brains go faster than our typing skills."

4 Job Search Strategies that can Backfire

Here are four job search strategies that look good in print but can actually cost you that new opportunity.

If you’re looking for a new job, you’ve likely read up on how to land your next great position. But beware: Not all of tips are worth following. Here are four job search strategies that look good in print but can actually cost you that new opportunity.

1. Taking a scattergun approach to resume submissions

While "resume bombing" may seem like a good strategy (you’re sure to hit something if you apply to lots of openings, right?), it's actually a job search mistake. Not only does this approach waste your time, but you are actually less likely to get an interview request this way. Hiring managers are looking for specific skills, experience and talent in prospective employees. If you click "submit" whenever you come across an ad that you’re the slightest bit qualified for, chances are you’re not taking the time to tailor your resume to individual openings.

A better job search strategy: Read each job posting carefully, especially the minimum requirements. If you lack one or more of them, don’t bother applying, because your application would just go into the circular file. But if you have all the requirements, and the duties and prospective employer excite you, then take the time to customize your cover letter and  resume.

2. Playing hardball when negotiating your salary

Naturally you want to be well compensated. But just as you have a minimum amount you’ll work for, prospective employers have a salary ceiling. Go into negotiations knowing what you want and what you’re worth. The Robert Half " Salary Guides" are great resources for the most recent starting salaries for hundreds of jobs.

While it’s OK to negotiate once — and sometimes even twice — on a salary offer, you don’t want to push too much. Why? For one, you could be perceived as difficult, and managers don’t want problematic employees on their teams. And depending on the industry and whether your skills are in demand, there may be others willing to work for that salary — which means you could lose that job offer. However, if the final package is just too low, it’s in your best interest to politely turn it down.

3. Getting "creative" with job applications

Your cover letter and resume are employers’ first impression of you. Unless you’re in a creative field, keep things visually conservative and professional so you don’t frighten off hiring managers. This means losing the fancy typefaces, images, attempts at humor and wacky layouts. A clever resume may get your application noticed, but for all the wrong reasons. Video resumes? Best to ask first, as some workplaces worry about discrimination claims. Another good reason to go old school is for the sake of scanning technology. Most resumes have to run through the gauntlet of an application tracking system, and an ornate resume with images could cause it to be rejected before a human sees it.

But traditional doesn’t have to mean boring. Use bold and varying size fonts to draw the eye to subheads. Columns make text blocks narrower and easier to read. White spaces help make the document more appealing.

Finally, give your cover letters the same professional treatment. Let your carefully chosen words and relevant credentials impress a hiring manager — not your puns, arrogance, emoticons or sales-pitchy lines.

4. Turning up your nose at temporary positions

Think interim work will look bad on your resume or hurt your career trajectory? Think again. Employers are relying on consultants and temporary workers more than ever, and analysts predict this trend will continue to grow. Signing up with a staffing agency that specializes in your field can result in interim jobs that prevent gaps in your work history, help you keep your skills honed, expose you to invaluable new experiences and boost your professional network.

Additionally, project-based jobs are sometimes converted into full-time positions — for the right employee. The American Staffing Association found that 80 percent of polled clients said working with temporary agencies was a good way to identify full-time hires.

Whether you’re between jobs or looking for another position, avoid these job search mistakes. You’ll increase your odds of furthering your professional career.

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 400 staffing and consulting locations worldwide. For more information about our professional services, visit For additional career advice, read our blog at or follow us on social media at

What is a Cover Letter and Why do I Need One?

How can a cover letter help you stand out from the pack?

There always seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the content and purpose of cover letters. Job seekers seem perpetually unsure about whether they should write one or not.

Granted, not all employers require candidates to include a cover letter with their application. But since when is going above and beyond a negative trait in a job candidate?

"Bottom line: no manager will rule out your application because you sent a cover letter. But some managers will rule out your application because you didn't," says Louise Fletcher, resume writer and president of Blue Sky Resumes. "Depending on which type of manager is hiring, it might never be read. But it also might be the clincher that gets you the interview."

A cover letter can be one of the most effective tools at a job seeker's disposal. And, as with any tool, it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Of course, the first step is understanding what a cover letter is for in the first place.

What's the point of a cover letter?

One of the biggest problems job seekers have with writing cover letters is figuring out exactly what they're supposed to include. Between an application form, a resume and a list of references, the employer already has plenty of information about you — or so it seems, anyway. So what could a cover letter possibly add?

"Don't look at a cover letter as just some other hoop you need to leap through in order to be considered for a job," says Alex Twersky, co-founder and vice president of career consulting firm Resume Deli. "Your cover letter, if written properly, provides a narrative opportunity to emphasize your grasp of the job's requirements and how your particular skills and accomplishments map to the job."

"Managers are looking for you to show that you understand their business and that you care about what they need," says Fletcher. "The cover letter is the only way of showing this, and that's why you need to write a strong, customized letter that directly addresses the company's needs."

A good cover letter is actually a lot more like an interview than a resume. It's your opportunity to become more than just data points on a hiring manager's checklist.

What makes a good cover letter?

Even after you're aware of why you need a cover letter, writing a really good one is not an easy task. Here are some things that can set yours apart:


Adjusting your resume to best suit the position you're applying to is important, and it's even more crucial when it comes to cover letters. Research the company and take some time to consider how your skills and experience line up with their needs. Keep that in the back of your mind while writing your cover letter.


Application forms and resumes tend to be pretty bland — but your cover letter doesn't have to be. "If you're going to send a boring, generic letter, there's no way for a hiring manager to get a sense of your communication style or personality," says Michele Mavi, director of internal recruiting and content development at Atrium Staffing. "Even worse, they may assume that your lack of originality means you're incapable of it, or at the very least, that the position isn't important enough to you to put any effort into your cover letter."

Knowing your audience

Inject some personality into your cover letter, but don't get carried away. Remember to keep it professional. "Whatever approach you take, be sure you understand the culture of the organization you're applying to and write with that voice in mind," says Mavi. "Companies aren't just looking for people with the right skills; they are looking for people with the right skills who fit into their culture as well."

Demonstrating your skills

"Don't just regurgitate your resume content in your cover letter," suggests Twersky. "Instead, figure out what business problems your reader is likely kvetching about, and then tell them -- right here in your cover letter -- how you would go about addressing them. This shows that you're thinking, and a true problem-solver."

Writing the perfect cover letter may be difficult, but it's not impossible. By following these simple guidelines, you'll be well on your way to submitting a cover letter that will set you apart from the crowd.

The cover letter may be the best place to show off your personality, but that doesn't mean you can disregard your resume. Make sure yours is up to snuff with 5 traits of a resume that will get you hired.

5 Traits of a Resume that will get You Hired

Here is a top five checklist of items that you should consider in preparing your resume.

When I ask job seekers to name their biggest gripes with the job search process, one answer keeps coming up: Employers never respond to their job applications or resumes.

When I look at the resumes they're applying with, I see many that are hurting more than helping job seekers present their qualifications for a new role.

Here is a top five checklist of items that you should consider in preparing your resume:

1. Professional appearance

Looks matter, and not just during the interview. If your resume appears slapped together, you're not going to make a positive first impression and invite the recruiter to want to read the specific content.

Does the resume look professional? There are free resume templates available on the Web. Search Google and find one you like, and edit it to reflect your experience.

Are margins at least ½" on all sides, but no more than 1"?

If the resume is over one page in length, is it warranted? A good rule of thumb: one page equals 10 years' experience.

Are bold and italics used selectively to emphasize important information?

2. Well-organized

Clean and simple is the best. It should be easy to skim and see the progression of your work experience. Is there enough information within each section to substantiate the need for a heading?

Is there one space between each section?

Is the content of each section single spaced?

3. Compelling content

Companies are interested in hiring people who can make their organizations better. List accomplishments — not tasks. Your resume should indicate how you've created success for your past employers.

Is information relevant to your career interest area? If not, consider being brief in these irrelevant areas if your resume is exceeding a single page.

Is information provided in short phrases, not sentences?

Does the content focus on responsibilities and accomplishments?

Does each entry include an easy-to-understand job title?

If the job is not obvious, does the entry include three to five responsibilities, tasks, special projects or accomplishments to describe the job?

Are numbers, data, dollar amounts or percentages used to quantify job duties and results (if applicable)?

Do the skills and keywords have a high match rate to the most frequently desired skills by employers? Use CareerBuilder's Explore Careers tool to find out.

4. Mistake free

Ask a friend to review your resume after you run a spell-check to correct simple mistakes that could rule you out of being considered.

Is the resume free of errors in English grammar, spelling and vocabulary?

Is the resume free of punctuation errors?

Is capitalization used appropriately?

5. Contactable

At the risk of stating the obvious...

Is your name on the resume?

How about your current address, email and phone number?

If you can confidently answer these questions and an unbiased friend confirms, your resume is much more likely to be recruiter-ready! Now you're ready to start being discovered by potential employers.

New Study Shows Job Seekers What Hiring Managers Really Want

By Mary Lorenz

For many job seekers, there's nothing more discouraging than spending hours finessing your resume, crafting the perfectly worded cover letter, and filling out that tedious online application (Seriously? I just uploaded my resume, and I still have to fill in my entire work experience? IT MAKES NO SENSE!) — only to never hear anything back. What gives?

Well, employers are jerks a new study from CareerBuilder may offer some insight. More than 1,500 recruiters and hiring managers nationwide participated in a recent survey to determine what companies are looking for when they're hiring, their biggest frustrations during the hiring process and what job seekers can do to increase their chances of being seen.

Be more than your resume

Just over half of employers surveyed (53 percent) say resumes do not provide enough information for them to accurately make an initial decision whether or not someone is a good fit for the job. (Perhaps that's why so many employers are researching candidates on social media, according to an earlier CareerBuilder study.)

But here's where you can help them fill in the gaps: In addition to a resume, 39 percent of employers say they want to see examples of work the candidate has done or an online portfolio (you can provide a URL to your portfolio or personal website in your resume), and 29 percent want a cover letter.

Another interesting finding? Nearly half of employers (48 percent) reach out directly to job seekers when they have an opening — all the more reason to build your personal brand through your resume, cover letters, online portfolio or personal website and social media presence. When you cover these bases, you can cut your job search efforts in half by increasing the chances of employers finding and approaching you.

Staying on an employer's good side

When it comes to employers' biggest frustrations with candidates, their biggest complaint is having applicants who apply for positions for which they aren't qualified (39 percent). Other pet peeves include:

  • Unrealistic expectations about salary/pay: 18 percent
  • Lying about their experience/qualifications:  13 percent
  • Checking in on progress too frequently:  8 percent
  • Resumes do not provide enough information about them:  8 percent
  • Not responsive enough:  8 percent
  • Resumes are poorly done:  4 percent

Are you guilty of any of these behaviors? If so, it might be time to adjust your approach to employers. For example, if you've been told that you have unrealistic expectations around salary, learn the right way to successfully negotiate salary. Feel you need to stretch the truth about your experience or qualifications to get the attention of employers? Try this approach instead. And find out how to follow up with employers and avoid these all-too-common resume mistakes.

Unsolved mysteries

Think you're the only one with questions? Turns out, employers are just as baffled by job seekers as job seekers are of employers. When asked about the top questions employers have about job seekers, here were their top answers:

  • Do their skills match what we want? — 77 percent
  • What are their current skills? — 75 percent
  • What is their work history? — 73 percent
  • What soft skills do they have? — 63 percent
  • Will they be a good company culture fit? — 61 percent
  • What is their salary expectation? — 50 percent
  • Will they stay with our company long-term? — 47 percent
  • Will they have the educational background we are looking for? — 47 percent
  • Why are they searching for a new job/career? — 46 percent

Now that you have a better idea of the information employers want, make it easy for them to find. Address these points (briefly) in your cover letter (though you may want to save the salary talk for later), or on your personal website or online portfolio.

60% of Employers are Peeking into Candidates' Social Media Profiles

By Amy McDonnell

Reading this while telling all 964 of your Facebook friends about your crazy hitchhiking adventures at Coachella? Yeah! Why wouldn't you? After all, you totally made #lemonade out of that situation — and you deserve a break after last night's hard work live-tweeting your BFF's bachelorette party shenanigans, filling Instagram with questionable selfies... and putting off that list of job applications you've been meaning to submit.

Uh, on second thought, you may not want to press that "Like" button just yet.

They probably are watching you

According to CareerBuilder's latest social media recruitment survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and HR professionals and more than 3,000 full-time US workers, 60 percent of employers revealed that they use social networking sites to research job candidates. This is up significantly from 52 percent last year, 22 percent in 2008 and 11 percent in 2006, when the survey was first conducted. Additionally, 59 percent of hiring managers use search engines to research candidates — compared to 51 percent last year.

And if THOSE numbers don't make you pause before you post your victorious face next to a beer pong table scattered with empty cups, think of it this way: The number of employers using social media to screen candidates has increased 500% over the last decade. Yes, you read that correctly: 500 percent.

Forty-nine percent of hiring managers who screen candidates via social networks said they've found information that caused them not to hire a candidate — on par with the 48 percent who said the same last year. The following are the top pieces of content that turned off these employers:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information:  46 percent
  • Information about candidate drinking or using drugs:  43 percent
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc.:  33 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee:  31 percent
  • Poor communication skills:  29 percent

To be clear, most hiring managers aren't intentionally looking for negatives (only 21 percent of employers say they're looking for reasons not to hire a candidate) — they just stumble upon them.

Hiring managers in information technology and sales are the most likely to use social networks to screen candidates, at 76 percent and 65 percent respectively.

Time to turn the tables

The lesson? Knowing that employers are lurking all over your social media profiles is actually a great opportunity for you to polish up your presence and use them as a tool to help you get hired. Look at it as a positive: These online spaces are the perfect way to set yourself apart from other candidates and help employers see you as more than just a resume. Do you tutor fifth graders one night a week, or moonlight as a rising stand-up star? Highlight that work in your social profiles.

"Tools such as Facebook and Twitter enable employers to get a glimpse of who candidates are outside the confines of a resume or cover letter," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder.

Six in 10 employers who currently use social networking sites to research job candidates (60 percent) are "looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job," according to the survey.

What does that mean, exactly?

For some occupations, this could include a professional portfolio.

53 percent of these hiring managers want to see if a candidate has a professional online persona.

30 percent want to see what other people are posting about the candidate.

Even more evidence that you should use your networking profiles as an expanded resume of sorts: More than 2 in 5 employers (41 percent) say they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online — a 6 percent increase since last year.

What else do employers want to see?

About one-third of employers who screen candidates via social networks (32 percent) say information that caused them to hire a candidate included:

  • Candidate's background information supported job qualifications:  44 percent
  • Candidate's site conveyed a professional image:  44 percent
  • Candidate's personality came across as a good fit with company culture:  43 percent
  • Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests:  40 percent
  • Candidate had great communication skills:  36 percent

Maintaining your digital presence

Don't view social media clean-up as a one-time deal, but instead, an extension of your professional image that needs regular maintenance and care. You don't leave the house without wearing clean underwear (right?!). Similarly, you shouldn't leave your dirty laundry all over the web.

Forty-one percent of employers say they use social networking sites to research current employees, nearly a third (32 percent) say they use search engines to check up on current employees, and more than one in four (26 percent) say they have found content online that has caused them to reprimand or fire an employee.

Employers are regularly reviewing both candidates and current employees, for various reasons. By taking control of your own digital footprint, you'll be setting yourself up for career success (and not a super awkward Instagram confrontation).

Top Growing Jobs for Outdoorsy People

By Matthew Tarpey

We all like to get out of the office and into nature every once in a while, but for some, the call of the wild is strong enough to lure them from life behind a desk. If you're looking for an opportunity to spend your working hours a little closer to nature, here are nine growing jobs for you to consider:

Wind turbine service technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines. They inspect the exterior and physical integrity of towers, perform routine maintenance on turbines and collect turbine data for testing or research and analysis.

  • 2011-2016 job growth - 21%
  • 2016-2021 job growth - 11%
  • Median hourly earnings - $21.48

Solar photovoltaic installers assemble, install, or maintain solar panel systems on roofs or other structures.

  • 2011-2016 job growth — 20%
  • 2016-2021 job growth - 9%
  • Median hourly earnings - $19.68

Anthropologists and archeologists study the origin, development and behavior of humans. They examine the cultures, languages, archeological remains and physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world.

  • 2011-2016 job growth - 12%
  • 2016-2021 job growth - 9%
  • Median hourly earnings - $29.50

Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth, such as its composition, structure and processes, to learn about its past, present and future.

  • 2011-2016 job growth - 11%
  • 2016-2021 job growth - 9%
  • Median hourly earnings - $46.83

Geographers study the Earth and its land, features and inhabitants. They gather geographic data through field observations, maps, photographs, satellite imagery and censuses.

  • 2011-2016 job growth - 11%
  • 2016-2021 job growth - 11%
  • Median hourly earnings - $34.95

Grounds maintenance workers ensure that the grounds of houses, businesses and parks are attractive, orderly and healthy in order to provide a pleasant outdoor environment.

  • 2011-2016 job growth - 10%
  • 2016-2021 job growth - 6%
  • Median hourly earnings - $14.47

Landscape architects design parks and the outdoor spaces of campuses, recreational facilities, private homes and other open spaces.

  • 2011-2016 job growth - 8%
  • 2016-2021 job growth - 3%
  • Median hourly earnings - $29.35

Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems. They study the physical characteristics of animals, animal behaviors and the impacts humans have on wildlife and natural habitats.

  • 2011-2016 job growth - 3%
  • 2016-2021 job growth - 5%
  • Median hourly earnings - $28.67

Foresters manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands and other natural resources.

  • 2011-2016 job growth - 3%
  • 2016-2021 job growth - 4%
  • Median hourly earnings - $28.51