I feel the need — the need for speed!
No, friends, “Top Gun” isn’t the only thing that will make you feel this way. If you’ve spent any amount of time on the Internet searching for jobs since you entered the workforce, you’ve probably hit the same wall I did a time or two.
“There’s just got to be a better way to do this,” you may have thought.
Well, you’re finally right. Internet job searches have grown infinitely easier since the inception of Monster and Careerbuilder, though you may not be aware of all the tools out there at your disposal. Heck, I’m sure I don’t even know all the tools out there at my disposal, so feel free to share any you’ve found with me in the comments section at the end of this blog. But as someone who’s gotten eight out of her 11 jobs thus far from an Internet posting, here are some tricks I’ve learned about online job hunting that have saved me a ton of time. I mean, you’ve presumably spent a lot of time, money or both creating a great resume and cover letter, so don’t let any of it go to waste!
1) Use your alerts. Admittedly, I’m not sure how many job sites have this feature because ever since it came on the scene, I’ve been an Indeed.com devotee.
However, even a search on my favorite site used to take hours of time I’d have to set aside at night and/or on the weekends.
Then came alerts. If you enter a search term — for instance, “sales” — Indeed will present a bunch of results for you, which you can narrow down by location, age of the post, and more. You will also be given the option to “get new jobs for this search by email.” Take it! It’ll be the biggest time saver in your online hunt. It reduced my search time from a minimum of two hours a week to zero.
Yes, zero. The alerts literally do all the work for you, delivering newly posted ads containing your keywords to your email inbox every day. All you have to do from there is scroll through the email (which takes all of 10 minutes a day) and click on anything of interest. Bam!
2) Get creative with your keywords. One downside of any Internet job search is that you might miss out on a totally interesting and relevant position if the ad didn’t contain your keyword. It happens more often than you think, and it’s absolutely due to an unoptimized job ad. Thankfully, though, there is a solution: Use a bunch of keywords (just not all together because that narrows your search instead of expanding it). If you’re looking in the HR field, for instance, you might set up 4 alerts: one with the keyword “human resources,” one with “HR,” one with “talent acquisition,” and one with “recruit.”
Undoubtedly, you may end up getting some ads in your email that aren’t what you had in mind. Those can be spotted and eliminated swiftly and easily, though, which makes the multiple keyword search well worth it. Plus, sometimes those seemingly tangential ads might lead you to a great position you never saw yourself in — or even a new keyword — that might be a great fit.
3) Search on LinkedIn. One of the best places to find jobs unfortunately doesn’t appear in Indeed’s search results, and that’s LinkedIn. While I don’t spend nearly as much time perusing LinkedIn’s job recommendations for me as I should because it is still such a time-consuming process, if you’re unemployed and have hours at your disposal, it’s a great place to look. Plus, you may come to find there’s someone in your network who works for the company where the opening is or has some connection to it, and a quick email to that person might be just the thing to get your foot in the door.
4) Post your resume on sites. I am a huge fan of letting technology do the work for me, and here’s another area where the Internet is a huge time saver. Why do all the work of job searching when the Web can do it for you? Post your resume on Indeed, Monster, Careerbuilder, HotJobs, Dice, and any other job sites you know of. Try to go for some niche ones that are specific to your field, too, as this will narrow the pool of competitors you’ll have to distinguish yourself from. Best time to post your resume? When you’re out of work or transitioning from one job to the next. That way you avoid arousing suspicion.
5) See what’s up on social media. I see people posting job openings on social media — Facebook pages, tweets, LinkedIn groups, etc. — all the time. Also, if you can do so without jeopardizing your current employment, make contact with people via social media and email letting them know you’re on the prowl for a new opportunity, because referrals are still huge when it comes to landing an interview. They may not be able to help you directly, but they might stumble along something in their network or know someone who might.
Good luck in your search, and don’t forget to enjoy all that time you’ve just freed up from job hunting!