Searching for the right job is hard. Finding and applying for the perfect job online can be even harder. Today, many employers use the internet to advertise openings and invite candidates to apply for jobs. Job hunters are also spending time online, with a whopping 90 percent of applicants using the Internet to search for openings. This certainly has the benefit of convenience for both employers and job-seekers. However, there are a few problems you’ll likely run into when applying for jobs online.
Problem: Too many places to look
The first problem job hunters have is that there are literally hundreds of job search sites to choose from. To maximize your chances of being discovered (and hopefully, hired), you might find yourself posting your resume on a dozen sites. Many sites will also require you to manually input information about yourself, such as your education and job history. Entering personal information and creating accounts on every job site available is time-consuming.
Solution: Pick only the best sites
Instead of trying to upload your resume on every job search site out there, stick to a few that are more likely to get you results. Craigslist is a popular spot to look for jobs, though it’s best used to search for entry-level positions. Big sites like Monster or Indeed are also good options if you want to cast a wide net, as these sites feature job openings around the world.
Your best bet, however, may be to stick to sites that have a more local focus, such as New York Jobs, allowing you to easily search for jobs in your area.
Problem: Too many applicants
Once you’ve found potential jobs and sent in your resume, you may face another problem—too many other applicants have applied for the same position. Because it’s so easy for job seekers to apply online, employers receive dozens of applications for every position. Most applicants won’t be suited for the job, but the sheer volume can make finding the right person more difficult.
Solution: Make sure you stand out
When applying for any job, you want to stand out from the competition. This is especially true online, where employers don’t get to see you face-to-face. Make an impression by crafting the perfect cover letter and resume. You can also add a little personality to your application by listing unique or interesting hobbies or skills, or by using a friendlier tone in your cover letter. Be careful not to get too personal, however. You still want to come off as a professional.
It’s also important to note that 77 percent of job recruiters are required to look up prospective employees online during the hiring process. You may want to do this yourself. Try to remove or clean up anything negative and bolster search results that are positive.
Problem: You get no response
One of the most frustrating parts of applying for a job is sending out resumes and getting no response. When you apply for jobs online, you’re even less likely to get a response from a real human being. Many employers screen applications automatically by searching for specific keywords in your resume. If you don’t use those keywords, nobody will ever lay eyes on your application. Two more reasons employers don’t respond? They receive too many applications, and they have no personal connection with you.
Solution: Include keywords and use social media
First, carefully review each job posting before sending in your application. Look for keywords or buzzwords in the posting that give you clues about what the employer wants. Then use those same words in your resume and cover letter. This can help you get through any automated pre-screening of applications.
The next step is to make a personal connection with the employer. Otherwise, you’re just another faceless online job hunter. Connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn, or find a friend who’s worked with the company and can recommend you. These types of connections help you stand out from the crowd and make it more likely that you’ll get a response—even if it’s a “no.”Connect with the hiring manager on LinkedIn to stand out from the competition. Click To Tweet
Problem: Filling out applications takes time
Maybe the biggest problem with looking for jobs online is that it takes a long time. For every opening you find, there’s usually a lengthy application that requires you to re-enter information you already have on your resume. Doing this over and over for every job you’re interested in is not only time-consuming, but also frustrating and mentally exhausting.
Solution: Simplify your responses
While it’s important to take your time on every application, don’t spend hours retyping the same responses. This is especially true when employers ask questions that they would never ask right away in person—like your salary. If possible, skip questions like these and state that you’re willing to talk about it in person. Employers who want to hire you won’t mind asking the tough questions in a formal interview.
Guest Author Bio:
Susan Ranford is an expert on job market trends, hiring, and business management. She is the Community Outreach Coordinator for New York Jobs. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them.