5 Tips for a Successful Online Job Search
Forget about the wanted ads in the newspaper. Today, more jobs are available online—and many employers post positions exclusively on the Internet. With an online job search, you can sift through thousands of positions to find the one that’s right for you.
But to conduct an effective online job search, you have to keep a few things in mind. Do it right, and your job search could land you in a great new position. Do it wrong, however, and you could be spinning your wheels without getting anywhere. Here are a few tips for finding your next job online.
Make an online version of your resume
Online job sites will ask you to type your resume into an online form, or attach your resume as a plain-text document. You should have a plain-text resume available, because you won’t want to re-type it for each position you apply for.
Most people keep their resumes in Word. But if you use a word document, it could be altered when you submit it online. Your careful formatting could be completely changed, leaving your resume a mess. To prevent this, format a plain-text resume that will get into recruiters’ inboxes as-is.
Post in multiple places
Sites like Monster.com provide thousands of jobs in a wide variety of industries. And it’s definitely good to have a presence on the larger job sites. But don’t neglect the smaller niche sites that focus entirely on your industry. Some employers may choose to search these instead because they feel applicants there are better qualified or more focused on their industry. Do a search for online job sites in your industry, and pick a few to use in addition to the larger sites.
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Guard your personal info
No matter what job site you use, never post personal contact info such as your home phone number or address online. A good online job site will allow you to keep this information hidden, or allow employers to access only your email address.
If you don’t hide your personal info, it’s not only the crazies you have to watch out for. True, somebody could decide to prank-call your phone number at two in the morning. But the biggest danger is identity theft. These thieves look for personal information online wherever they can get it, and the last thing you should do is give them anything they can use.
Choose the positions you apply to carefully
Online job sites give you access to hundreds or even thousands of positions. But that doesn’t mean you should be applying to all of them. Most job search experts will tell you to apply to a few well-suited positions rather than blasting your resume far and wide. Recruiters don’t appreciate receiving resumes that have little to do with their positions, and you don’t want to get a reputation as a resume spammer.
Instead, choose a handful of positions to apply for. Write an individual cover letter for each, and edit your resume to suit each job. You may get seen by fewer employers, but you’ll have a much better chance at landing the job.
Keep your online reputation professional
Recruiters, human resources managers, and employers regularly do online searches to screen potential employees. They may love your resume, but if their online search of your name digs up pictures of you doing keg stands in college or a blog ranting about your last employer, they may decide to look elsewhere. It may not be fair, but employers do judge you on these things.
Before doing an online job search, do a Google search for your name and see what comes up. Ask yourself if you’d feel comfortable seeing these things on the front page of the New York Times. If your online image is less than professional, you might want to consider limiting access to your MySpace, Facebook and Twitter account or modifying your blog.
Thousands of employers post positions online every day. Chances are, your ideal position is out there somewhere. Manage your job search the right way, customize your resume and cover letter, and make sure the search engines won’t lead recruiters to negative information about you, and you could land that new job sooner than you think.
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