If you have spent time browsing newspapers, crossing off jobs, and starting all over again without seeing any results, then you have seen firsthand how grueling a job search can be. When you factor in the hours spent writing cover letters and customizing your resume, the prospect of applying for more openings looks daunting. The judicious use of online resources can help you make connections and cut down your job search time. Here’s how you can start putting the power of the Internet to good use as you look for a job.
Networking Sites for Professionals
One major problem that job seekers often run into is strong competition. Since many interviews are largely the result of being in the “right place at the right time,” it never hurts to take advantage of professional networking sites. Places like LinkedIn can help you find work quickly because they allow you to get the attention of company decision-makers. Remember; if you have a LinkedIn profile, you may be judged on it by potential employers. Make sure that all the information on your LinkedIn is up-to-date and typo-free and matches the information on your resume.
Great positions aren't always openly advertised. Professional contacts on networking sites give you an "in" that could put you on the fast track to getting an interview. Start a conversation today.
Search Engines and Job Lists
Have you ever found the perfect position only to discover that you applied too late? Sometimes you have to cast your net wide to get the results you’re looking for in a job search. Speaking realistically, however, monitoring multiple sites is a slog. Job search engines and lists such as Idealist.org and Monster.com are a fantastic way of getting these ideal jobs sent straight to your inbox. You can also use LinkedIn to compile relevant listings and send email alerts. What’s the catch? Well, one thing to be aware of with these sites is that you may find yourself contending with spammy e-mails and phone calls if you make your contact information available. You can combat this by having a separate e-mail address for your job hunt and by exercising caution with your phone number. Overall, a job list is an option that save you time and allow you to find and apply to jobs in the crucial window right after they are posted.
State-Specific or Profession-Specific Job Lists
Depending on your professional skills and your location, you may find it in your best interests to opt for a more refined search. A profession-specific list will save you the trouble of having to filter through massive job lists that only have a few jobs you can actually consider. Sites like Sun Oasis for freelance writing and editing or the IEEE Job Site for Technology and Engineering do a great job of simplifying matters. Along the same lines, if moving isn’t a possibility, you can consider signing up for job lists that are specific to your state.
Monitoring the Careers sections of company websites can alert you to jobs you might not have otherwise heard about. The best part? All you have to do is make a list of corporations and businesses in your area that might require your services, and then make a point of regularly checking their sites. Most of these businesses will have job portals you can peruse. From there all you have to do is streamline the process a bit by using e-mail alerts and RSS feed subscriptions.
Alumni Job Lists
Have you visited your old stomping grounds lately? While you may think that your college days are behind you, you’d be surprised at how an alumni organization can change your job-hunting fortunes for the better. Many schools have a portal or an e-mail list that allows graduates to interact with one another, look for jobs, find references, and even get advice on finding work. Put simply, alumni lists are a resource that job seekers can’t afford to overlook. There you have it. Digging through job search engines, specified lists, getting help from fellow alumni, professional networking websites, and company websites are just a few of the ways that you can “mine” for openings online. While it’s true that finding a job isn’t easy, there’s no question that the Internet-based resources at your disposal can do a lot to speed up the process.