Looking for a job? Not much fun, is it? Job hunting usually doesn’t rank high on anyone’s top-ten list of “things I like to do”. The fact that you can conduct an online job search probably doesn’t make it any more enjoyable. But it can be. In fact, it you get (and stay!) organized, you may find that searching for a job online can be interesting, perhaps even an experience that provides you with skills that will serve you both professionally and personally.
First, a few words about searching for work using the internet. Ours is now a world full of social media, populated globally by somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 social networking sites (SNS). As each of those sites have matured, users have discovered different ways to utilize the strengths each possesses. Sites such as Facebook (friends and family) and Pinterest (photos and images) have morphed into promotional vehicles for businesses and employment sites for individuals, for example. Social media is now so pervasive, so ingrained in our daily lives, that anyone who chooses not to have some form of presence online virtually doesn’t exist (both literally and figuratively).
With that being said, it seems fairly obvious that an online job search strategy is essential to career development. From basic web-based job boards to setting up Job Search pinboards on Pinterest or making extensive use of Twitter to follow others in your professional sphere, knowing how to use the internet and, equally importantly, ensuring you do so in an organized manner, is mandatory for maximizing your online job search efforts.
Here are a few items to consider:
- Job Websites. Craiglist, Monster.com, CareerBuilder and the like. Schedule a time to review them. Set up Bookmark folder on your desktop to make repeated site visits simple and provide storage for information about specific openings. Complete your search of all sites one right after the other, then go back to your folder and apply for the openings, again one right after the other. You’ll appreciate the rhythm you fall into.
- Visit websites of companies in the industries in which you would like to work. Repeatedly. Create a Bookmark folder. Or a spreadsheet. Whatever format you prefer that enables you to efficiently access and work with the information you’ve stored.
- Engage with social media sites. Research and categorize which companies have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and Pinterest accounts, for example. Follow them. Diligently. You’ll not only learn about openings and the focus of each company, you can learn a great deal about their corporate culture as well. Again, set up a separate folder for each so that you can quickly refer to something specific rather than have to scroll through pages of info or lists of documents.
- Save your info!Immediately. (Don’t keep things in your Inbox or Sent Folder-you’ll hate looking for it later). Resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, rejection letters. When you apply via email, send a copy to yourself via Bcc. Save copies of all materials related to each job, including URL, Facebook name, etc. There are companies that require you to apply via their online system. Saving an application is usually not an option, so type the application questions and answers into a word document which you can save before you hit the “Submit” button for the actual online application.
- It’s a date! Use whatever calendar works for you to meticulously record the who, what and when of all of your job applications and requisite follow-ups. Missing a deadline when applying for a job means doom.
The online job search: It’s all about organization.
Job hunting is not usually the favorite activity of most of us. Online job searching makes it easier, but not really more enjoyable. But if you get organized with this 5-step checklist you might find the searching experience to be much faster, more efficient, and even more successful. Download the PDF now.