The Job Seeker's Guide to Online Job Search

By: AJE Recruiting Specialist

The Job Seeker's Guide to Online Job Search

Launching a job search can be a daunting task for anyone, whether you’re a transitioning veteran job seeker, looking to change careers or a novice. The Web is peppered with scores of job sites, referral tools, networking sites, social media, and job search engines. Sifting through these tools and deciphering which ones are the most aligned with your goals is important when beginning your search. Without a clear focus, this will lead to confusion and could keep you from securing your dream job. Here is our guide to devising the most effective job search strategy.

1. Begin with realistic goals. Give yourself plenty of time to create a strategy, complete each application and follow through on every lead. Keep in mind that every company is different, and while some may have an application process that lasts a month, others require three to four months of testing and follow-up interviews to ensure they’ve found the right fit.

2. Outline a daily plan of attack. Your job search is a job in its own right. Crafting a daily schedule will help you decide how many hours a day you want to spend searching for jobs vs. how long you can devote to the application process. America’s Job Exchange recommends at least two hours of searching (depending on how many sites you are registered with) per day. After you’ve accumulated a list of online jobs you want to apply to, spend the remainder of your day completing each application or resume builder to the best of your ability. While your online job search is one of your most important resources to finding a job, in-person networking is also key, so be sure and allot enough time each day for following up with job leads face-to-face.

3. Find your targets. The Web is home to many excellent job search resources. Generic job boards like Monster, CareerBuilder, and HotJobs fall under this category. While these sites have thousands of job listings, they receive massive amounts of applications by recruiters daily.

Niche job boards are some of the most effective tools you’ll encounter. Because they specialize in certain industries, geographies, or salaries, your application will receive more attention from recruiters and employers. America’s Job Exchange is an example of a niche job site because we focus on middle-income, non-executive jobs and post many opportunities on our highly specialized career exchanges for women, minorities, disabled candidates, and veterans

Many job boards, like America’s Job Exchange, offer Resume Builders. Resume builders are excellent tools if you don’t have the software or experience to create your own.

Job search engines (or aggregators) pull job listings from various sources, including corporate career sites, job boards, and niche job boards. They can maximize time and efficiency if you need to conduct a quick job search.

Social and professional networking sites offer access to thousands of companies who embrace social media and regularly tweet or update followers on job opportunities.

Some companies prefer to keep their opportunities housed on their corporate career site, which can typically be found on the main company web site. Some may not have a formalized or consistent application process, so be prepared to spend a lot of your time navigating these career sites and their sometimes lengthy applications.

4. Apply, apply, apply. Once you’ve outlined your ideal targets, the legwork begins. You will need to register on the sites you selected. This is important for several couple reasons: you can easily apply to jobs once you’ve entered in all your information, and the job site will automatically send opportunities that match your skills if you are a member. Register with AJE today

5. Keep detailed notes. Every time you apply for a job, make a note of it in an Excel spreadsheet or document. Write down the job name, the date you applied, and the hiring manager listed, if applicable. As interviews commence, take note of directions, first impressions, and any homework you need to complete in case you snag a second interview.

6. Follow up. Whether you send a text, thank-you note, or email, it’s always good to follow up with the recruiter you’ve spoken with. It can often give you an advantage over other candidates, especially if you remain professional and polite during the entire process.

7. Stay positive It’s easy to get discouraged during your job search. Having a mentor or seeking advice from a professional with your ideal career can keep you on track and supply you with a healthy dose of encouragement. Remember, a job search can take several months and a lot of investment in terms of time and patience. Reward yourself whenever possible, stay upbeat, keep your resume fresh, and apply, apply, apply. Your efforts will be recognized.