Searching for jobs online is the fastest and most effective way to make a change in your career or pursue new employment avenues.
Many times, it is also the only way to go about finding companies that are hiring in today’s market. The internet has completely revolutionized the way that all companies do business, including the business of finding appropriate personnel.
Over the past decade, there has been a massive shift away from the paper applications, cold calls and walk-in inquiries that used to define job searches. Instead, the job search is almost exclusively governed by digital job boards, online headhunter-style services and one-click “easy-apply” options.
The online approach to job searches can seem new and confusing to older job seekers or to those who are not very comfortable working with computers. However, with a few basic preparatory steps, anyone can find a job online and enjoy the benefits of discovering new opportunities from the comfort of home.
The first step to finding your next job online is to narrow your approach to only the jobs that fit your available skillset and work experience. Most online job boards have standard checklists that you can mark off for years of experience, specific skills, particular positions held in a given field and even personality traits.
Based on the items you mark on these checklists, many job search platforms will filter available jobs they present to you to fit only the qualifications that you already hold. This saves you the time it would take you to sift through all available jobs on any given job board. It can also make you aware of companies you might not even have previously known existed.
Nearly all job boards will require you to create user names and passwords, which you will need to keep in a safe and private place in order to keep your personal information secure. Try to choose digital boards that are in line with your level of computer savvy, that meet with your current interest level in finding a new job and that cater to your personal career preferences.
The best advice is to showcase as much professional information as you possibly can, to be creative and unique with the manner in which you present this information and to attach as many supporting pieces of documentation that illustrate your professional abilities as necessary.
The old model of finding a new job was for applicants to go out searching for companies that were hiring. The new model is for companies to actively search for the best possible applicants online. The good news is that this places nearly all of the legwork for making the connection on the company rather than on you.
Of course, you will still need to generate your online job profile and cast around for the job you want. The bad news is that you are one name in a sea of other applicants. The internet allows employers to be a lot choosier about which candidates to interview and hire because the talent pool that they are drawing from is much larger.
This means that you are responsible for doing anything and everything you can to make your profile, resume and cover letter stand out in the crowd. This typically means that you are going to need more than one version of your resume and cover letter readily, each one emphasizing specific skills for different types of jobs you may apply for.
Consider the type of work you are applying for when you create your resume. For instance, if you are a graphic designer, it may benefit you to generate a great resume that showcases your graphic skills, such as an inclusion of an image or a unique way of organizing information bubbles. By contrast, if you are a top level executive looking for a managerial position, you will want to have the cleanest and most elegant resume you can possibly create.
Remember that your resume is a reflection not just of your educational and work experience but of you. It is also typically the first place a hiring manager or company interfaces with you. Make sure your resume captures attention with personal flourishes and your best professional features fully on display.
One of the biggest benefits of doing an online job search is that nearly every aspect of the process can be conducted on your computer. This means it is not just your initial resume and cover letter submissions, but sometimes even your interview and your official hiring that can take place right there on your screen.
Most job boards keep dated lists of all the jobs you have applied for on their site. You will have names, phone numbers and emails of hiring managers or job posters that you communicate with via these websites. Additionally, many companies have moved to video call interviews over in-person meetings to save time.
Make sure you have a clean and professional atmosphere in which to take these video calls should they arise. Make a habit of composing a follow-up email after direct contact with any hiring manager or company representative. This is not only polite but also serves to show the person responsible for hiring that you are serious about the job and are taking the time to show it.
Reading every single aspect of any job posting you apply for is crucial to success in an online job search for two major reasons. The first reason is that when employers take the trouble to specify job duties and mandatory requirements, they do not appreciate receiving applications from people who have not read those job duties and do not possess the requisite qualifications.
Failing to take the time to have a full understanding of the job you are applying for makes you appear careless and even desperate to a hiring manager, not to mention it often wastes the manager’s time when you turn out not to have the basic requirements for the job. None of this makes you desirable as a new hire.
The second reason to read the fine print has to do with the number of scams that permeate online career platforms. Online scammers frequently post phony job descriptions to gather sensitive personal information. If this information is given, it can then be used for identity theft or spamming. Always make sure that any job posting to which you supply any of your personal data is true.
You can do this by looking for any of the stereotypical scammer warning signs, such as odd syntax or immediate claims of upfront payments. Most credentialed hiring managers and human resources personnel will contact you directly through the job board where you applied for the job. Use standard caution when communicating online with anyone you have not met in person and make sure that you take adequate measures to protect your sensitive personal information as you search for your next job.