Finding a full-time job is a full-time job in and of itself. You have to be focused on a search for jobs that you want most, as well as remain organized about which jobs you are applying to, while simultaneously customizing your applications for each job so that you stand out from the competition. That is a lot to do! Luckily, there are many tools and tricks that can help you with this process. Here are some of these helpful tips and tricks to improve your job search online:
1. Make Your Resume Stand Out.
Have you submitted your resume online and then wondered where it goes in the applicant tracking system (ATS) database? Basically all major and some mid-size companies, governmental organization, or recruiting firm use this type of technology to contain, manipulate, organize, and access the large amount of resumes they receive. The ATS software organizes resumes in a certain way that gives every candidate an equal opportunity, so you need to make sure that your resume fits the necessary qualifications to be recognized best by this system. This means you need to design a resume that is in a clear format for both humans and the software. Look for websites with instructions on how to do this.
A new trend that is growing in popularity is posting your resume in a creative format such as an easily navigable website or online portfolio where recruiters can view your work, read about your goals, and obtain contact information.
2. Check Yourself Out.
After receiving your resume, many employers, recruiters, and hiring managers will run background checks on you, and that includes looking you up on Google and going through your social media pages. Make sure that your profiles, on all your social media websites, are work appropriate. Google yourself and see what comes up. Make sure that there are no racy statements or photos, half-naked pictures, sexist or racist remarks, or intimate details about your life that can be found. If they exist, try to hide them by making them private or requesting their removal.
3. Pick The Job For The Right Reasons.
Do not let yourself be tempted by a high salary. While being paid well is a big factor when looking for a job, make sure it is not your top requirement. Prioritizing money will blind you from considering other aspects of the job that may later put you in a place that you’d pay a lot to escape from. Instead of the salary, look into the relationships and culture at the job place, the career development opportunities, the work requirements and hours of work expected, and the autonomy, meaning how much creative freedom you will be given. These will be the factors that will most influence you and your enjoyment at your job.
4. Let Go Of Your Pride.
You may have held high-ranking positions in your last company, or you may have been valedictorian, but in this economy, it may be smart to get over that, and look for a job in a practical manner. If you think you will be good at it and enjoy it, you should consider it, even if it is a position of lower rank. Do not be needy, desperate, or completely lack self-respect, but at the same time, do not refuse a job just because it is of lower rank than your previous job.
Also, do not be afraid to ask for help. You should ask for referrals or ask previous co-workers and acquaintances for job opportunities. This networking can help you get a foot into a company or a recommendation at a work-place and increase your likelihood of landing a job.
5. Be Pro-Active!
Looking for a job really is a full-time job. You need to invest time in customizing and updating your resume, your cover letter, and your online profiles. If you do not yet have all of those, then you have even more work ahead of you. Remember to update your skills, use the correct keywords, and write up a resume specifically for each job you want. If you are a freelancer, optimize your profile on job sites and your own website.
Do not wait around to hear from companies or look up listings. Reach out to companies even if they are not hiring. You should continue to network and create new connections, and you must scroll through job-search websites and job listings every day, whether it be on a specific job website, in the newspaper, or on social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Also, do not get caught up in the job search for too many hours because you may burn out. Be sure to commit to regular exercise and take care of yourself while you are unemployed. Keep both your body and your mind active, and take online courses and hone your skills, or acquire new ones, so that you can tell future employers that you have been staying active, and in order to avoid intellectual stagnation.
6. Stay Organized.
In the internet age, you still need to send in resumes and cover letters, and each has to be customized to the position. You want to make sure that you have an up-to-date general copy of your resume and cover letter in a computer folder that is easily accessible. You can send your resume as a Word document attachment or copy it directly into the email body. You want to show that you have a personal interest in their open position, and the employers want to see that you are well-suited for the job, so it is important to customize your resume for the position. Make sure you save your resume as “JohnDoeResume.doc”, and every time you customize your general resume, re-save it with that title so that you can send the resume with that document name to make it clearer for the employer. You should be organized by saving each customized version separately so that, when you get called for the interview, you can remember exactly which resume you sent.
7. Use the Tools Available to you online.
In order to stay organized, you can use the tools online to help you with your job search. You can now save your resume online so that it is easily accessible from any computer, and you will not lose it if your hard-drive crashes for some reason or another. You can keep the resume and cover letter in your email account or in some sort of online service. Gmail has a calendar and document services that you can access from anywhere and in these you can save and edit documents, create spreadsheets where you can keep track of where you’ve applied, and write scheduled interviews and phone conversations in the calendar. Make sure that you do not use your current job email to do these things because that shows a lack of discretion to potential employers.
8. Use Social Media.
While you may have joined Facebook as a purely social outlet to communicate with friends and family and share pictures, professionals have started using this social website as great tools for finding jobs. You have to be selective and guarded about how you use these websites for networking purposes, and that might involve a serious change in your profile.
The most well-known professional social media site is LinkedIn.com, and through it you can find previous professional connections, upload your resume, and have managers write recommendations and coworkers endorse you for skills. Through this profile you can also connect to other professionals and apply to jobs. By participating in discussions within your field or industry, you can converse with fellow professionals and increase your presence in the network. Potential employers may find you through this website or look through your profile when reviewing your application.
In addition to increasing your online presence and finding job postings and even networking, these social media networks, along with Twitter, are excellent tools for following companies you are interested in working for. By following them, you can keep up with their interests and become familiar with your company so that you have better leverage when you are interviewing.
8. Find Organizational Services.
Websites such as JibberJobber.com and JobKatch.com help you manage your job search and keep track of where you have applied. You can set tasks and reminders for yourself through these sites so that you do not forget to follow up on a job posting you have found and applications you have sent. These websites, and others like them, help you stay organized by allowing you to collect all your information in one place, and most of the basic services are free. Some of these organization websites will let you set up personal goals such as applying to a certain amount of jobs per month and keep track of how you are doing. You also have a place to record the information of where you found the posting of each job. These organization sites also provide evidence that you are actively looking for work, which also helps when you need unemployment assistance.
Take advantage of the tools that the internet has to offer, because keeping things organized is a lot of work, and to have all your info saved and recorded in one space can make things so much easier and really help with your job searching process.
9. Try Online Recruiters.
There are recruiters online that will talk with you, review your resume, and find jobs that will meet your specific skills and needs. You can find these online recruiters through certain websites, search for online headhunters on Google, or find them through social networks like LinkedIn.com.
10. Use a Job Search Website.
Once you have updated and edited your resume and cover letter, narrowed down your job search, and prepared an organization tool, you need to start the job hunt itself. This means you have to go through job listings and postings every day in search of jobs that fit your criterion.