Find a Job Faster Online
If you’re reading this, you’re probably using the Internet in your job hunt. And that’s good. The Internet can be a hugely effective job-search tool … if you use it right.
If you misuse it, the Internet can chew up huge chunks of your time and leave you no closer to getting hired.
So, here are four ways to use the Internet smarter and find a job faster, updated for October 2004:
1. Create your own job openings
Because many positions aren’t advertised or don’t officially exist, don’t confine yourself to just the advertised openings online. So advises Greg Faherty, a Certified Professional Resume Writer who writes for www.1dayresumes.com and others.
“Make a list of companies in your area you’d like to work for, or use Google to find them. Then, go to each company’s Web site and paste your resume into their employment page job box, if they have one,” says Faherty.
But don’t stop there.
“Use the company’s site to identify senior executives, preferably in the department where you want to work, and send them your resume as well. If their email addresses aren’t listed, go to the Annual Report or About Us pages — emails are usually there somewhere. If you not, you can always print and mail your resume. That still works!” says Faherty.
In other words, don’t wait for your ideal job to suddenly pop up online. If and when it does, you’ll only face more competition. Instead, take the direct approach and use the Internet to find, research and contact companies you want to work for. Because advertised job openings online are just the tip of the iceberg.
2. Think ahead when registering on job sites
With all the privacy concerns and worries about identity theft online, a little foresight now can avoid a lot of headaches later during your job search.
“If you’re working now and don’t want your employer to know that you’re looking, don’t include the name of the company you work for in your resume. That can prevent someone down the hall in HR from finding your resume online,” says Steven Rothberg, President of CollegeRecruiter.com.
If you’re employed by a large national bank, for example, use “Large National Bank” instead of the actual company name.
And what if you’re really concerned about your personal safety or identity theft?
“Consider renting a post office box and using that address in your resume and when you register at job sites,” says Rothberg.
A more common problem when job hunting online is spam. How can you make sure that one email with a job offer doesn’t get deleted along with the hundreds of pitches for blue pills and Nigerian banking scams that typically fill your email inbox?
“You can minimize spam by signing up for a free, disposable email address at sites like Hotmail or Yahoo, and use one of those on your resume and at all job boards. When you’ve completed your job search, stop checking that email box,” says Rothberg.
3. Search in niches
In your online job hunt, don’t overlook the many job postings found on “niche” Web sites, which cater to specific industries, associations and other affinity groups.
When you search “niche” Web sites, you’ll have less competition for openings that more closely match your skills. This tactic worked for one of my clients, Carla S., from Marshall, Minnesota.
“I interviewed for and got offered a great job after applying to openings on sites from my industry, like www.jobsinlogistics.com and www.careersinfood.com,” said Carla.
You can find links to niche job boards at sites like www.nicheboards.com and by doing searches for keywords (“YOUR INDUSTRY + jobs”) at search engines like www.google.com and www.yahoo.com. And don’t overlook new, powerful search engines like www.teoma.com and www.kartoo.com.
Example: the following phrase, typed into Google exactly as follows — “marketing jobs” + Minnesota — turned up a half dozen solid leads on the first page of results.
No matter what kind of work you do, there’s at least one association or affinity group with a Web site and job openings for it. Try different combinations of search terms until you hit pay dirt.
4. Turn off the computer
Once you’ve done all you can do online, the best way to find a job is to step away from the keyboard and go talk to live humans.
“Far too many job seekers spend far too much time visiting job boards. After that first day of posting your resume online, don’t visit those sites again unless you get an email job alert or want to improve your job-hunting skills by reading articles. There’s just no need for it,” says Steven Rothberg.
Instead, spend the rest of your time networking, with friends, family, colleagues, vendors, religious leaders — anyone you know on a first name basis or can get referred to by another person. This is how you’ll likely get hired. Because computers don’t hire people. People do.