How to use web resources strategically
As any job searcher knows, you can spend hours in front of your computer every day, and still feel no closer to finding a job. You may have posted resumes on every job search site, and applied to hundreds of positions, but still have heard nothing. How does the Internet fit into your job search? Are you spending too much time online? How can you use Internet resources to your advantage?
Here are some tips:
1. Use job search websites strategically
- Set up a profile on LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional networking website where you can create your resume, expand your network of contacts, and sign up for e-mail alerts for job postings. Spend some time making your profile look professional so that it puts you in your best light when colleagues or potential employers view it.
- Use the major job search sites and their apps: The major job sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed, and SimplyHired compile job listings from many resources, so their listings are fairly comprehensive. Take advantage of their job-search advice, resume tips, cell phone apps, and other resources they offer. But remember, they are very large sites, and many people will be applying for the same jobs that you are. So set a time limit for yourself on these sites.
- Set up email alerts: Rather than spending hours every day browsing the job listings on the major websites, set up email alerts so that you will automatically be sent emails when new jobs in your field are posted. And be sure to use filters to describe the types of jobs you want to be alerted about, so that you don’t waste your time reading about jobs that aren’t a good fit.
- Try local listings: In addition to the big job search websites, try local listings, such as the classifieds in your local online newspaper and your local Craigslist job listings. Sometimes employers will post jobs on these sites in order to avoid the flood of resumes that they receive from the large aggregator websites.
- Try industry-specific websites: If you have joined a professional organization, see if their website features a job board. Or look for other job websites that are specific to your career field, such as Career Vitals for healthcare jobs, Idealist for nonprofit jobs, or Dice for technology jobs.
- Check company websites: Are there specific companies or organizations in your region where you would hope to work? If so, visit their websites directly. Many organizations’ websites feature “employment/career” sections where they list job current openings.
2. Use other Internet sites to build your knowledge of your career field
- YouTube learning opportunities: Use YouTube videos to find out more about your career. Brush up on job skills by viewing videos that professionals have posted online. See if any colleges offer free YouTube lectures in your career field.
- Professional organizations. Look at the websites for professional organizations in your field, and consider joining one. See what additional learning opportunities are available through these organizations, such as journals, newsletters, and discussion forums.
- Employer Research: Use the Internet to research companies that you might want to work for. Follow their Twitter posts, join their Facebook page, and find out as much as you can about what is going on at the companies that interest you. If you land an interview, be sure to research not only the company’s website, but other news articles that may have been written about the company. You want to know as much as you can about any prospective employer.
3. Limit your time on the computer
Give yourself a set amount of time to spend job-searching on the computer each day, and then step away. It’s easy to get drawn into spending too many hours on the computer without much result.
Remember, face-to-face contact and word-of-mouth are some of the strongest ways to develop job leads. What are some ways to get personal contact? Here are some networking suggestions:
- Talk with friends, family members, and neighbors and see if they can introduce you to someone in the field.
- Find a volunteer opportunity in your career field or a similar field.
- Try to secure an informational interview with someone who is already established in the field.
- Contact a career services advisor at your college or career school and take advantage of their career development resources.
- See if there are alumni events at your college or career school, and get connected with alumni in your career fields.
- If you belong to a professional organization, consider attending their events or conferences.
- Join a job searchers support group.
- Attend job fairs in your region. Make sure you make an effort to talk to the representatives, since this gives you a chance to gain confidence in “selling” your credentials.
We hope these tips help you to consider how you are using online resources in your job search, so that you can make the most of the options that are available. Above all, we wish you luck as you pursue your career!
This article was provided by the Harris School of Business. The Harris School specializes in training adult students for careers in the fields of allied health, healthcare, and business management. If you are interested in learning more about the programs at Harris, simply fill out our form, and a representative will contact you.