If you are currently submitting your resume over and over again online, it’s probably not working too well for you right now, am I right? I thought so. The truth is that online job searches just don’t work anymore. Here’s why:
Reason #1: The Hidden Job Market
Did you know that up to 80% of vacant jobs are filled without ever being advertised? While you are spending your time looking at Monster.com at millions of job listings, people are getting hired all around you. Many of them in jobs you would have been able to do. Instead, step away from your computer and do some research on the companies instead. Then, find someone who works there and start networking with them.
There are a billion ways to start networking. My favorite is just to use a Google search or social media to find someone who has the job you want or works in the industry that you want to work in. Other ideas are going to networking events and collecting business cards during the event. Then, when you are done you can ask them after the event for an informational interview. You can also reach out to people who you already know.
When you are done with the meeting ALWAYS ask if there is anyone else they know that you can speak to. This will DOUBLE your networking opportunities!
You can also create a networking challenge for yourself like I did so that you can start networking like crazy. My networking challenge consisted of meeting with 4 people I didn’t know and 4 people I did know every single month. If that seems too much for you, try meeting with 2 people you know and 2 people you don’t know every month. You really have nothing to lose by sending out a simple email to someone you may or may not know. Most people do want to help you out so don’t be afraid to ask! No one can help you if you don’t ask!
Reason #2: You Apply to Jobs You Don’t Really Want
The second issue with online job searches is that you have a tendency to apply to any old job and not one that you specifically know that you want. By applying to any old job, it makes it FEEL like you are taking action and moving forward. But, unfortunately, it is a great way to get stuck in another job that you hate. You will just be unhappy if you move into another job that is just like the one you hate now. It’s a repetitive cycle and you will always hate your job unless you do something about it now.
Instead, you need to have a plan and a goal. You need to find the what that perfect job is for you BEFORE you start looking at opportunities. And that is what networking is all about. You can ask all the questions you want and determine if something is right for you BEFORE you start! You have to narrow it down from any old job and have a specific kind of work that you would like.
Reason #3: You Have to Spend a LOT of Time Perfecting Your Resume for Each Job
The third issue with applying online is that it only works if your resume totally rocks. How much time have you spent on yours? Would you even pick you if you saw your resume? Is it just a list of all jobs you have had? Do you even brag about yourself and show how much you rock? Most resumes get five seconds before a reader decides if it’s going into the no pile. Your resume really has to market yourself and make you stand out.
By networking instead, you don’t have to trust that the person looking at your resume is going to see how awesome you are. Instead, you make the great impression yourself, in person. Then, hand them your resume after!
Reason #4: Competition: Everyone Else is Also Applying Online
I really don’t have to tell you this one but thousands of other people are applying to the same job. There are 92 million Americans that are not working right now. Recruiters know when someone is just applying to get any job to tie them over until they are truly passionate about. If a Senior Financial analyst is applying or an Administrator position, they just want a job for now. No hiring manager wants to replace you in a few months because it costs lots of time and money!
Because there is so much competition online, it is more important than ever to stand out in person and that is why networking is the clear winner AGAIN! You can show your passion and excitement for the job in person much better than on a piece of paper. And that passion and excitement is what is going to make you stand out from your competition.
Reason #5: No Human May Ever Review Your Resume
Have you ever applied to a job and got a rejection letter in like five minutes? Yeah, that means that the computer ruled you out, not a real person. Wouldn’t you rather speak to a real person while networking and make that face to face introduction?
That way if you get rejected, you can always follow up later to get feedback or at least keep them in your network for the future.
What has been your experience with online job searches? Have they worked for you?
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