Almost as soon as the Internet went mainstream, job and career sites started popping up. With this evolution came the ability to job search in a whole new way.
Today, you no longer have to rely on newspaper classifieds for your job searches; you can see which companies are hiring from the convenience of your computer. You can even upload your resume to many job sites and let employers find you, making your job search an easy, fruitful process.
That’s the idea, anyway. But does it really work that way? One would tend to disagree—online databases are not without their problems.
There are two main problems in today’s online database search and strategy:
1. While it’s easier for you to apply to open positions, it’s also easier for everyone else.
It’s true that it’s more efficient to email your resume than it is to write, print, and send each one by snail mail. But the ease of electronically delivering your documents overloads human resources departments, which get massive amounts of replies to posts each day. With so many different documents coming in from all over the country, it’s much more difficult for you to stand out.
In fact, surveys have shown that most hiring managers, on average, spend only six seconds reviewing each resume. You have six seconds to capture their attention before they move onto the next application in the pile; clearly, their need to work fast results from the high quantity of documents they receive.
2. Online resume databases make up a massive abyss.
Despite the fact that most human resources departments are understaffed, they still have to worry about hiring new talent and managing day-to-day tasks. The former gets a little tricky when they have to dig through piles of electronic documents to get to yours.
Databases don’t have the best organization system; many times, departments have a hard time sloshing through the resume dumping grounds to get to quality resumes. Time being a critical factor, companies usually don’t take have the resources to view every single resume in the black hole; they’ll find a few good ones, and go off of those. This means that your resume might not ever be seen, simply because of the disorganized nature of resume databases.
Trying to treat the Internet like a classifieds section of a newspaper is probably more harmful than good—but that doesn’t mean job databases are useless. If used correctly, the Internet can provide opportunities for you in very much the same way.
The correct way to leverage the power of the web is to contact and form relationships with those who know more about career recruitment than you do. This means finding and connecting with recruiters and job placement agencies—both of which you can do online.
Unlike a human resources employee, who probably has to handle many duties, a recruiter focuses solely on finding talent for a company. There are two main types of recruiters: internal and external.
An internal recruiter works only for one company, whereas an external recruiter scouts talent for several companies. Clearly, maximizing a recruiter’s power includes finding an external one; that way, you’ll have access to several companies rather than just one.
One of the best places to find an independent recruiter is on LinkedIn. There are currently more than 2,500 people identifying themselves as independent recruiters there, alongside details about which industries and locations they serve. Most of them would be more than delighted to make your acquaintance, since they get paid when they connect a company with an employee.
Unlike an independent recruiter, a staffing agency has many professionals at their disposal, which can also be beneficial to your job search. You’ll have access to more than one person’s connections, resulting in a broader search and a better chance to be discovered.
In browsing a couple staffing agencies—like Tampa-based HH Staffing Services or New York-based Winston Resources—you’ll learn how beneficial having an entire team of professionals for job placement is. By simply using the web to search for staffing agencies in your area, you can begin the process of scaling up your job hunt.
Another bonus you’ll get with staffing agencies is that they often have connections with many companies for temporary or temporary-to-hire positions, which can be lifesavers if you don’t have the savings to sit back and wait for the perfect job offer.
Scouring the Internet and looking at online classifieds, sending out dozens of resumes a day, is not the way to leverage the Internet for your job hunt. Doing so will only leave you frustrated and stuck in the abyss of online databases, forever in the system and likely never discovered.
The Internet is useful, however, when you use it correctly for your job search. Opportunities arise in having the ability to grow your professional network much easier and faster. You don’t have to completely abandon online classifieds and career sites, but you also don’t have to rely solely on them, either.
Use the web to contact recruiters and other professionals who want to help you connect with a company. In as little as a day or two, you could have a dozen people—or more—helping you find your dream job. That is the true power of the Internet, as far as job hunting is concerned.
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