How to increase your chances in the online job market

Online job marketI’m applying for all the jobs on online sites, but nothing happens. What more can I do?

The online world is a huge world of possibilities. Nothing is more exciting than clutching your newly earned degree in one hand and typing out a job application online with another. Spending all your time glued to the computer looking for that ‘one’ position that deserves your presence may not be the best use of your time. By all means, use online job sites but just keep this thought in the back of your mind – If you’ve seen it, so has everyone else.

If searching for a job online is yielding poor results, increase your chances of getting a job by narrowing down the competition. There are many less visible vacancies that give you a better chance of success if you know where to find them. The key is to discipline yourself in your search for a job and not necessarily work harder, but work smarter.

Getting to know the job sites you use is the best way to make them work for you. Different industries favour different job hunting techniques, and even different job sites. Knowing which technique or site will reap the best rewards may take a few hours of research, but it will pay dividends. For instance, spending a large amount of time applying blind for reams of jobs that may not reap any rewards, or even a rejection letter, but spending the same amount of time networking, will.

If you have kept your search to large companies it may be the time to look at smaller ones. You won’t find them at career fairs or via job agencies, your job will be finding out how, where and when they recruit. Industry related papers or websites often have a career section, and it may pay to look what companies are local and scour their websites for a ‘careers’ section. Thinking about using these strategies has increased your odds already.

Keeping your eye on the job websites is a good idea to see what is around, but the golden rule is to limit the time spent on them to 10%. Don’t be afraid to narrow down your search by typing more unique criteria into the search bar, or the advanced search bar. If your chosen industry has their own standard qualification, look for that. If you are attracted by a specific work environment like, ‘eco-friendly’, or ‘flexible hours’, try searching for that. There are no set rules for the search engines; they will do what you tell them too.

Using social media can be a much more fruitful way to spend your hours hunched over a computer. LinkedIn often has the most recent vacancies, and the field is already narrowed to the contacts that have access to it. Tweeting or posting about your job search can also help. When people know that you are looking for a position, and what type of position, they will see what they can do. As John Guare so correctly said, there is only six degrees of separation between anyone – that means you are only six degrees of separation from your new job. Good luck!

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