Looking for a job is a time-consuming process. But one thing in particular wastes more time than any other task in your job search. It’s applying for job after job online. “But how am I supposed to find a job otherwise?” you may ask. To a certain extent, you are right. More and more employers have migrated to online job sites as their sole way of taking job applications.
|Don't let your job search time go down the drain.|
- Apply only for jobs that suit you. For an effective job search, you’ll want to apply just for the jobs that fit your interests, skills, education, experience, and background. Don’t apply for jobs just because they are advertised. Don’t apply for jobs for the heck of it. You will waste tons of time. You’ll never get a response, because your application won’t pass the automated screening process that matches your background to the job’s requirements. The more you can target your job search, the more quickly you will find the right opportunity.
- Apply only for jobs you want. “I can do that,” you may say as you review job ads. But do you want to? Do the job’s duties interest and energize you? Do you want to work in that industry and that location? Does the job match your desired responsibility level? Can you see yourself doing the job well and enjoying it? Ask yourself such questions before applying.
- Get away from the computer. As any job seeker knows, you can spend endless eons applying for jobs with nothing to show for it. So in addition to applying for just the right jobs online, use other job search methods that have been proven effective: network with people who may lead you to job openings, tell everyone you know about your job search, attend conferences and events in your field, stop in at smaller employers, and contact employers of interest directly (see next point).
- Contact employers of interest, even if no suitable jobs are advertised. Many employers will not advertise openings because it’s costly, inundates them with bad job applications from strangers, and creates a time-consuming search process. So, contact employers of interest directly. Let an employer know you are interested in the organization and explain what you can do for it. This approach can take you to the front of the hiring line when a job opening occurs. I have found jobs this way in the past.
- Follow up on job applications with human contact. After you apply for a targeted job online, try to follow up with a real person at the company or organization. Perhaps you can connect with someone on LinkedIn or email or call a company insider to express your interest in the position. This human touch can pull your resume out of the pile.