Every week, NETSHARE hosts Ask the Coach, a phone-in coaching session with leading career management experts. Here is an excerpt from our most recent session with Christine Dennison, The Job Search Coach.
The Internet is a wondrous thing. With the birth of the World Wide Web we now can access information and resources that were previously unheard of. In the early days, the Internet was a great tool for job seekers because it was clean and efficient. But then the Web became popular and prolific. Now we have bots and filters and spam and an incredible amount of online noise because everyone has figured out how easy it is to hit the “send” button to submit a resume. That means that yours is just another voice in the crowd, and it will be impossible to make your expertise stand out unless you understand how to properly use the Web as a resource.
This week, job search coach Christine Dennison shared some tips about how to think about and use the Web as part of your job search. She noted that as the din of the Web increased, hiring companies had to implement software filters to handle the data traffic from job applicants. Now all the big firms are using software to pick their job candidates, and this is where the entire online search process has gone hopelessly haywire.
There are a growing number of career information providers and opportunists trying to make money from job seekers. If you are posting to random job locations then you become a commodity, which means you won’t stand out. Your first step needs to be to control the noise. Align yourself with a reputable career service such as LinkedIn or NETSHARE to get the online traffic under control. And use the Web to conduct your own research. It’s a great tool to help you determine where the market opportunities lie, which companies are on the move, and where to apply your efforts both online and offline.
Should you apply to online job postings? Sure, but only dedicate 5 to 10 percent of your time to online postings. Remember that resumes are usually sorted by software and many are never actually seen by a human being. Even if you cram in all the keywords, chances are it will never surface. You can throw your resume in the mix, but it’s always better to network your way in using a resource such as LinkedIn.
Should you post your resume to job boards? You can “hang” your resume on online bulletin boards, but be discriminating so you can control access. Use services like NETSHARE where you know your information is protected. Otherwise you are just opening yourself up to spam and scam artists.
The bottom line is, don’t let the Web dominate your job search. Spend no more than an hour or two online each day. The Web is a great research tool and can help you find the right connections, but you need to make time for face-to-face activities. The Web is no substitute for personal contact, especially if you are looking for a new career opportunity.