7 Reasons to Rethink an Online Job Search

jobs onlineAlthough networking has been hailed for decades as the most effective strategy for obtaining new employment opportunities, the online search continues to seduce job seekers.

Hundreds of unproductive hours, dozens of unanswered applications, and false hope after false hope doesn’t deter the determined online job seeker.  Why?  It seems like the most direct strategy and also requires the least amount of effort.  Unfortunately, it also has the lowest ROI.

Next time you are in a job search and plan to spend the majority of your time online, consider the following:

  1. Some companies have policies that require jobs to be posted publicly, even if they’ve already identified a strong internal candidate.  Unless the internal candidate turns down the job, your chances of obtaining this job are slim to none.
  2. When was the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator?   Companies are no different.  It’s not unusual for them to leave a job posted online long after it has been filled and the new employee is happily receiving a paycheck.
  3. What is a great way for a company to look successful to the public and competitors?  Give the impression that they are hiring new employees by posting jobs online.
  4. Ever change your mind?  Companies do, too.  Poor quarterly results lead to hiring freezes.  Changes in strategy lead to re-organizing departments and roles.   What does this mean for job seekers?  Likely a canned form letter from the company that says “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
  5. More than 50% of the jobs that exist at any given time are never posted publicly.  If you’re only looking online, not only are you missing out on half the opportunities, but you are also competing with anybody and everybody who is in a job search.
  6. Due to Applicant Tracking Systems, it’s estimated that about 10% of resumes submitted online get viewed by human eyes.  Unless you are a great match for the job, have perfect timing, and use appropriate formatting that the ATS can easily interpret, you will end up stuck in resume cyberspace.
  7. Have you ever come across a job that seemed too good to be true?  Unfortunately, it’s hard to regulate what is posted online and scammers are more than happy to prey on eager job seekers.   Trust your gut.

So, should job seekers just cancel their WiFi?  Not exactly.  Job sites, social media and company websites are great places for research.  Also, about 25% of job seekers are finding success in the online search, so don’t abandon this strategy altogether.

Rather, adjust your time accordingly to get the most bang for your buck.  If you have 12 hours/week to spend on your search, 9 of them should be spent talking to your connections (aka, networking).

Happy hunting!

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