Tips for Looking for Jobs Online
The idea of pounding the pavement is becoming archaic; in another generation, the notion of going out to look for a job will seem absolutely silly and inefficient compared to sitting at home on your computer and looking for work from there.
Searching for Jobs Online
The internet has allowed for a global marketplace for employees and employers to size each other up and come together for short or long term jobs. It only makes sense to start pounding the cyber pavement; you can compare jobs at the click of a button, you can contact people through email, social media and telephone, you can send your resume, cover letter and other information through your email instead of having to lug around paperwork and many jobs are even being done remotely instead of on the job site!
Does all this scare you a little?
Intimidated by the notion of sorting through all of the job postings, trying to sort the scams from the truths and trying to make sure you get the right people and the right job? You’re not alone; while the ‘millennial’ generation is embracing the idea of working for themselves or working remotely, older generations are still uncertain about the whole process and getting left behind as a result. But looking for work online doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming; all you need to know is know where to start and we’re here to help you!
Draw Your Resources Together
The first thing to do is actually the first thing you’d do when pounding the pavement: get your resume, cover letters and any other paperwork (health papers, Identification etc.) together and make sure you have a digital copy of it. You can scan you health papers and ID and things like that and then make sure you have a typed up resume and a cover letter that you can manipulate to suit the job you applying for. If you have all of these things at the tips of your fingers, it will be much easier and faster to apply for jobs and get the ball rolling.
The Keyword is the Key!
This is a really important point and will actually lead to the rest of our tips. When you start searching Google or Bing or whatever you’re using or if you go through a job site, then you’ll be asked to input ‘keywords’. Keywords are words (usually phrases) that Google will use to filter your results. The more specific you are in your keywords, the more relevant your results will be.
For example, inputting ‘jobs in Michigan’ will pull up far more results that are less relevant to you than inputting ‘B.S. jobs in Michigan’ or ‘entry level jobs in Michigan’ or, better still, ‘Health care, entry level jobs in Michigan’. See? Be specific, but don’t be too specific; for example, many employers may use B.S. for Bachelor of Science, not B.Sc, so if you type in B.Sc, you might miss results.
The same goes for job sites; you’ll be prompted to input keywords and then probably the place you want to work. In this case, you would type ‘health care jobs, entry level’ or ‘health care jobs, management’ and then in the next box, where you want to work.
This is where you are ‘pounding the pavement’ because you’ll probably want to do several searches with different combinations of keywords in order to pull up the maximum optimal results.
Using Mega Databases to Find a Job
There are now several sites online which draw together many job postings and put them all under ‘one roof’ so to speak. These are a good place to get started because they let you quickly skim job postings in your field or in other fields you might be interested in. However, a couple of points before you rely on them: they aren’t always kept up to date very well and you really are only getting a percentage of the jobs that are available out there-only the people who use these sites will post and that’s certainly not everyone. However, mega database sites like Workopolis.com are good places to get started in your job hunt.
They’re pretty easy to use and the postings usually have contact information.
The Importance of Staying Connected
Mega databases and keywords are nice, but it’s estimated that nowadays upwards of 90% of employers look through social media sites for potential employees, so that’s where you should be too. And we’re not talking about Facebook here (although it can work too); we’re talking about social media geared for job searching with LinkedIn being the obvious example. It is therefore very important to make sure you have an up to date profile on LinkedIn or sites like it, with your resume, skills, education, contact information, what kinds of jobs you’re looking for, and what you have to offer. These sites are usually pretty easy to use and connecting with employers on this level usually leads to greater levels of success.
By all means though, go through your favorite social media sites too like Twitter, Facebook, even Pinterest! You just never know where employers will be and it would be silly to leave a stone unturned.
Once you are connected, make sure you stay on top of your profile. Keep your inbox clean, answer messages, look for job postings (and apply for ones that suit you!), and make sure everything is backed up on a hard copy, on your computer and of course, digitally. This ensures that no matter what happens that you’ll still have your information somewhere. You should also make sure to do any follow-up on your application and resume; for example, don’t be afraid to phone the company once you know they have your resume in order to see how things are progressing.
Read Everything and Do Your Homework
This hasn’t changed from the old days of finding work, but it’s worth reiterating. Make sure to read the job post fully before applying, make sure that the job post is legitimate and from a legitimate company and make sure it’s something you feel suited to do. Once you feel comfortable applying, then tailor your resume and cover letter to suit that company and good luck!
Don’t Discount the Tried and True
The internet has really opened up job hunting, particularly if you can work remotely and can do jobs for people far away. However, don’t toss out the old ways of doing things just yet. There is still value to checking newspapers, journals and connecting to others in your town to get the heads-up about jobs before the posts even go up! The internet is just another tool you can use to land the job you want.
Searching for jobs online may seem intimidating, but it’s all about filtering results down to what you want to do for a living. You still have to do things like have a polished resume, a great cover letter and the right skills and education for the job; all the internet does is let you keep job searching even while the weather is foul! Know what you want and go get it, the rest will follow. Good luck!