The internet is a valuable tool for finding and applying to jobs, especially in the current job market. However, jobs that are posted online tend to be extremely competitive as they can be seen by hundreds or even thousands of people, so it takes hard work to win over an employer. Here are 10 tips for online job hunting:
1. Select job sites carefully.
You can find hundreds of different employment websites, often with mostly the same job listings. To avoid wasting time, stick to a few online job sites that have the best listings for your career interests. These may be comprehensive search engines like Indeed or SimplyHired, or they may be smaller, specialized job boards for your industry.
2. Narrow down your search.
You shouldn’t waste time applying to jobs that you’re not qualified for or jobs that don’t meet your criteria. One of the greatest benefits of online job sites is that they allow you to narrow down your search based on keywords, job title, location, and other factors. Take advantage of this feature, so you don’t have to scroll through hundreds of listings in the hopes that you’ll find the perfect job.
3. Get email alerts.
Many job sites offer email alerts, so you can be notified when a new job is posted that matches your criteria. Then, you can apply for jobs shortly after they’re posted, which increases the chances of an employer noticing you.
4. Perfect your resume.
You can respond to every job listing in your area, but you won’t get far without a strong resume. Employers usually skim a resume for less than a minute before deciding whether to take a closer look, so your resume should be organized with clear headings, bold typeface to guide the reader’s eye, and bullet points to draw attention to the most important information.
One of the most important resume tips is to focus on your accomplishments at your previous and current jobs, not on the job descriptions. Include the unique things you’ve done that have made you valuable in your workplace. Be specific about your achievements, but don’t use too much industry jargon. If you’re applying for a variety of different jobs, you may have to make small changes to your resume to make sure you highlight your most important qualities for each job.
5. Post your resume online.
Posting your resume on a site like LinkedIn or Indeed allows employers to reach out to you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have job offers coming in left and right, but it can increase your chances of getting in contact with an employer. Keep in mind, though, that anyone can see your resume when you post it online, including your current employer. You my be able to post your resume anonymously, but this lowers the chances of an employer contacting you.
6. Customize your cover letters.
Writing a new cover letter for each application is time consuming, but it shows employers that you’re serious about the job. Tell the employer how your experience and qualifications would be valuable to the company. There are plenty of online guides with cover letter and resume tips for specific industries and job titles, so you should always look for help before sending in a cover letter.
7. Reach out to people.
Social media is a great tool for job hunting because it allows you to connect with a wide variety of people. LinkedIn is especially valuable as it’s designed for professional networking, but you could reach out to anyone in your life to see if they know of any available jobs. However, it’s important to be courteous and to avoid pestering your friends and family with message after message asking about employment.
8. Clean up your online presence.
If an employer is interested in you, they may not make their judgment only on your resume and cover letter. It’s becoming more and more common for employers to look at social media profiles when making hiring decisions, so you should go through all of your online profiles and delete any unprofessional photos and comments.
Your social media profiles should have no mentions of alcohol or drug use, no profanity, and no inappropriate comments from your friends. You also should remove any negative commentary about your current or previous employers.
9. Be wary of scams.
Unfortunately, it’s easy for scammers to lure people in with a promise of fast and easy money. If an employer asks you to pay a fee or provide your social security number to apply, it’s most likely a scam. Don’t give them any personal information, and report them to the website their listing is posted on.
10. Be persistent.
Job hunting can be frustrating and tiresome, but persistence is key. The job market is always competitive, so it’s essential to be prepared and to regularly search for new opportunities. If you look carefully on employment sites and polish your resume and cover letter, you’ll increase your chances of finding the perfect job.