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Strategies for Online Job Searching

Be more efficient with these tips

Have you submitted your resume online lately? Do you ever feel like your resume is disappearing into a black hole? Sometimes you can submit a resume and never hear back from the employer. This can get discouraging and frustrating. What can you do differently? How can you get your resume noticed?

Job-searching and resume-writing are different than they were in the past, and the pace of change means the rules are evolving all the time. Try these pointers for online job hunting in today’s competitive high-technology environment.

1. Tweak your resume for every job application

Resumes and cover letters are not “one-size fits all.” To be more effective in your job search, it’s important to tailor your resume to each job application. You want your skills and experience to speak to the exact specifications that the employer is looking for. This may mean moving certain skills or experiences to the top of your resume and putting others lower. Or it could mean rewording a section to better respond to the particular job.

2. Use job-related keywords in your resume

Since most resumes are submitted through applicant tracker system, they are going to be screened by a computer before they ever make it to a hiring manager’s desk. To help your chances, study the job posting carefully and see what kinds of job-related terms can fit into your resume. This way, if the application tracking system is searching for that specific term, your resume has a better chance of being noticed.

3. Set up automatic job searches carefully

Many online job sites like Indeed and LinkedIn allow you to create and save job search terms. You can set parameters such as geographical limits, job type, job keywords, and salary range. Make sure you do this carefully so that the website is pulling the best job matches for you. If you find very little that matches your skills, maybe you need to re-set your parameters and choose better keywords. You can also set these searches to automatically email you when new jobs are posted—this can be a big time saver!

4. Target specific companies that you want to work for

Online job websites can often come up with lots of companies that you have never heard of. This can be okay, but if you are hoping for specific employer, why not visit their website to learn more about what career options they have available? This can be more targeted approach to job searching that helps you find a job at a place where you truly want to work.

5. Quality over quantity

Some people take the approach of sending out as many resumes as humanly possible. This is not always the best strategy, and it wastes a lot of your time. It is better to find job postings that truly match your skills and spend more time on each application, making each application the best it can be.

6. If you’re not qualified, don’t apply

With online job postings, you are facing a lot of competition. Employers receive many hundreds of applications for each job. If you are not qualified for the job, your resume will probably be passed over. For this reason, save yourself some time, and don’t bother applying for these jobs.

7. Follow the rules

Online job applications can be complicated. They often contain many fields to respond to and many attachments to add. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully so that you are providing what the employer is asking for. It would be a shame to get passed by for simply not following the instructions.

8. Keep your online presence both professional and up-to-date

If a hiring manager does decide to look at your resume, there’s a good chance he or she will also look you up online. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, and be sure you’ve cleaned up your social media accounts so that there isn’t anything embarrassing for a potential employer to see.

9. Limit your time online and spend more time networking

As a job seeker, you can easily spend all your time browsing through job sites hoping to find the perfect job and end up with little to show for it. This can get very frustrating. Instead, limit yourself to 1-2 hours per day of searching the job sites. Then devote the rest of the time to in-person networking. Try these tips for building your career network.

10. Don’t give up!

Finding a job can take longer than you expect. To begin, don’t take it personally when you get a rejection. Remember, employers are choosing from hundreds of applicants for just a single job position. And secondly, try not to get discouraged. It may take some time, but the only way to find that job is to keep on trying!

With these suggestions in mind, we hope your online job hunting gets the kind of results you want. Best of luck!

The Harris School of Business offers career training for adults who are interested in starting new careers as medical assistants, dental assistants, massage therapists, and more. Find out more about starting your new career with us.