What You Don't Know About Jobs Online

Published: Jan 09, 2014

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What You Don't Know About Jobs Online

January 9, 2014

Here are four secrets to maximize your online job search.

By Angela Rose for BioSpace.com

Since the ‘90s, online job boards have grown in popularity with both employers and job seekers. In fact, according to the International Association of Employment Websites, there are now more than 40,000 job boards and employment sites connecting potential employees with hiring managers and HR professionals worldwide. While most job boards are fairly straightforward to use (you post your resume and search for jobs), they can become a bit of a time drain if you fail to use them effectively. Consider these four “secrets” to help you maximize your online job search.

1. Know what you’re looking for before you start searching.

You could easily spend hours upon hours browsing open jobs that you have no interest in—or are unqualified for—unless you put some thought into the job you want and narrow your search accordingly. Think of it like shopping for anything else online—you save valuable time by searching with specific keywords. A Google search for “women’s shoes” will return thousands of results, just as a search for “management jobs” will. Narrow it down to “clinical trial research manager” (or “women’s running rubber soled shoes”) and you’ll have a much better chance of finding exactly what you are looking for.

2. Invest in an upgraded membership.

While many job boards allow you to post your resume and browse jobs for free, some upgraded services may be worth their weight in gold. If the service you are using offers “preferential placement” of your posted resume for a small fee, it could be a wise investment. For every position posted on the job board, there is a manager or recruiter searching through resumes submitted by job seekers. If yours is near the top, and you have the skills they are looking for, you’ve dramatically increased your chances of winning an interview.

3. Avoid the throw it against the wall approach.

Submitting your resume for every job that sounds remotely interesting is not an effective method for finding a job. Large job boards can be overwhelming with the numbers of jobs posted. Use a targeted approach when searching and applying for jobs. Carefully review the ones you are interested in, make sure your qualifications are a match, and proceed accordingly.

Take some time to find niche job boards for your field. You will find fewer jobs posted, but they are targeted to your industry, occupation, or location, and you have a much better chance of getting a call for an interview when you apply. By using your time effectively, you will find that your targeted job search is much more successful.

4. There is no “one size fits all.”

If you’ve ever purchased a “one size fits all” costume, you know there is really no such thing. A “one size fits all” cover letter is another myth. While you may begin with a basic cover letter outlining your general objective, your in-demand skills and impressive performance history, use it only as a template. Tailor that cover letter to fit each job like a glove. The hiring managers receiving your resume have at least another dozen in hand. Yours will stand out when it becomes obvious that you’ve taken the time to create a cover letter just for them.

While these “secrets” may seem obvious, many job seekers that you’re competing against aren’t using targeted job searches and personalized cover letters to stand out. When you take the time to use online job boards as they were designed to be used, you will find much more success in your job search. People are being hired every day from job board postings; make sure you’re one of them.

About the Author

Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends, and workplace issues for BioSpace.com.

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