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5 Online Job Search Techniques to Avoid

by Miranda Marquit

It’s tough out there if you are looking for a job. While the Internet has made the job search a little bit easier, the use of technology isn’t fool proof. You can slip up just as much in the online job search as you can offline. And, when you mess up online, it’s extra-easy for a hiring manager to simply “trash” your resume or “delete” your email — without even giving it a second look. As you begin your online job search here are 5 techniques to avoid:

1. Mass Mail Your Resume

Email can be a great communication tool. However, mass mailing your resume — especially when it’s unsolicited — can be a huge waste of time and energy (and money, if you’ve paid for a service). In some cases, the company may not even be hiring for position. In other cases, a mass email of your resume indicates that you haven’t put thought into what you can offer the company. Rather than blast a bunch of people with a generic resume, put some thought into where you are applying, and what the employer is looking for.

2. Stick to the Major Job Sites

Sure, the big guys of job search can provide hundreds — or thousands — of eligible job openings. But it can be difficult to go through all of those jobs, and you will be among thousands of applicants. In addition to visiting the big sites, take some time to look at niche job boards for specific careers and industries. You can also look on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and tap your social network. Here are some tips for using LinkedIn properly.

3. Use the Apply Online Option

Technology has made it simple to apply for a position online. Many job sites have the “apply online” option. Just click a button and get started! Unfortunately, that is a good way to get lost in the crowd. All of those applications go to the same place, and it’s hard for an employer to distinguish between applicants. Instead, check the listing to see if there is an email address for a specific person doing the hiring. Email your tailored cover letter and resume directly to that person, rather than using the provided form.

4. Neglect Your Social Media Profile

Your social media presence online is increasingly becoming an object of interest to potential employers. Pay attention to your privacy settings, and pay attention to images, status updates and other postings. Realize that Twitter and Tumblr, and even your blog or comments you make on other blogs, might be included in an online social media background. There’s even a company that provides a social media background check to employers. If you look like a problem, you won’t be hired.

5. Limit Yourself to Your Last Job Description

The great thing about technology is that there are new careers available, and many opportunities and job descriptions that didn’t exist years ago. Instead of limiting yourself to your last job description or your current career field, take some time to think about how your skills might translate to another career. Many jobs don’t even require a college degree. This can help you broaden your search, and perhaps find a better fit in a new and exciting industry.


Published or updated January 12, 2012.
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 krantcents

This is a situation where the business model changed! If you do not adapt, you lose big time. With minimum wage jobs getting hundreds of applicants, you need to distinguish yourself. The best way is to not use the old methods because you will be one of hundreds if not thousads applying.

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2 Chris

Regarding the job sites. I find that my alma mater has a useful site that is fairly specific to my location and skills. Also, I would recommend that anyone using niche sites or even craigslist be wary of anyone asking for credit reports or “background” checks that they pay for themselves. I’ve had friends who have paid these fees only to find out they were only distrustful marketers collecting the affiliate fees from the credit report providers.

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3 john

particularly point number 5. A friend of mine was a well paid accountant who quit to become an electrician and has never been happier. Before I was a financial adviser, I was an actor!

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