The Truth About Online Job Postings
Contrary to what you may hear from the major job boards, looking for a job purely online is not the best approach. Research shows that the best strategy is to utilize a variety of tactics to search for a job. Think of it as a net, and the bigger the net the more likely you are to catch a fish.
I remember doing one of my first job hunts where I only applied to online job postings, and after sending out hundreds of applications/emails I did not get even one single interview!
The reality is that often by the time a job vacancy makes it online, it is already filled internally or with someone who the hiring manager knows, and they are merely posting the job to fulfill HR requirements. Note that I say “often,” and not “always.” Applying to online postings are definitely a tactic that MUST be utilized, but not exclusively. As I mentioned above, the best strategy is to use multiple tactics, such as online searches, online networking, offline networking, career fairs, or informational interviews.
By far, the tactic that outperforms all others is offline networking. There are several reasons for this:
By meeting face-to-face, you cease to be merely another paper resume. While the Internet has made distance less important, it does not diminish the importance of actually meeting and speaking with someone. “Face time” is your opportunity to demonstrate your confidence, knowledge of the field, and much nonverbal information as well.
Hiring managers can also better gauge if you’ll fit into the company culture, something that can make the difference between a successful hire or a washout.
They are human after all, so if they like you it is more likely they’ll consider you for the job (assuming you have the qualifications), or even consider you for positions that are not yet posted!
Even if you aren’t meeting the hiring manager, you will meet and impress people who know hiring managers. They can then pass your information along to others, so the more people you impress the more likely your resume or contact info will get to a hiring manager looking for someone like you.
So hone your appearance and people skills, and make networking the cornerstone of your job search. Identify any deficiencies and correct them. One way to do this is by recording yourself (audio or video) and practicing your pitch.
While networking is the best tactic, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you are casting the widest net possible, because you never know where you’ll find that job you’re looking for. Lastly, keep in mind that a job search is not a success until you get the job, so keep at it and use all the resources at your disposal.