Many job seekers can agree it’s easy to get burned out from their job search. Although job sites are powerful tools for finding jobs and shouldn’t be ignored, job seekers need to be looking beyond the Internet for employment opportunities.
If you’re a job seeker who is discouraged about finding employment, here are four ways to tell you’re spending too much time on job sites and what you can do to improve your job search:
1. You Haven’t Had an Interview. Have you been applying to jobs for months and still haven’t landed an interview? During the job search, it can be easy to get caught up in applying to every posting. Job seekers may think their resume is applicable for the position; however, it may not meet the employer’s requirements.
Job seekers who use job sites to apply to every available position should think about a new strategy. Make sure you are applying to jobs you are qualified for, using the employer’s application guidelines, and following up with each application. Once you do this, you will be able to narrow down your search and focus on the positions you want.
2. You Haven’t Made Time to Network. Job seekers don’t realize how many jobs are available offline when they’re only searching job sites. Many people discover job openings because they have a connection with a company or organization. Whether it’s a friend or relative, many people find jobs because of the people they know.
Job seekers should also be involved with professional organizations. These are especially useful for people new to their industry. Instead of spending five hours each day searching the Internet for job postings, join a professional organization, build relationships, and ask professionals to meet for coffee. Networking opens the door to many opportunities and is the best way to connect with people in your field.
Keep in mind that although networking may not land you interviews with employers right away, it’s important to build these relationships in order to get your foot in the door. The biggest advantage of networking is being able to know people who can provide advice about finding a job that wasn’t posted online.
3. You’re Only Applying Online. If you’re only considering openings posted on job boards, then you’re holding yourself back from finding more opportunities. Instead of searching board after board, make a list of companies you would like to work for and start researching them. Once you have your list, contact the employer to see if you can send them your resume.
Most employers, even if they aren’t hiring, will hold your resume on file for six months to a year. If you decide to send your resume to different companies, be sure to inform the recruiter or hiring manager about your resume submission. By doing this, the next time you follow up with the company, your name will be fresh in their mind.
4. You Haven’t Built a Personal Brand. This is huge when it comes to the online job search. If you want to be discovered online, you must make a presence for yourself. Every job seeker needs to be on LinkedIn regardless of their field. If you you’re searching for jobs in public relations, marketing, or graphic design, you should also have an online portfolio.
Job seekers whose expertise is in fields such as engineering or accounting can still create an online portfolio. Many employers expect to receive a digital version of your resume and won’t accept hard copies. There are many platforms that allow job seekers to create a simple website where they can display a resume and samples of work. Job seekers who have an online presence will build their name in the virtual job search world and can be discovered by more employers.
No matter how frustrating the job search can be, there are many tools aside from job sites for job seekers to explore. If you’re still unsuccessful with finding employment, try to be creative. Start by thinking of different ways you can connect with professionals in your field, create your online portfolio, and how you can send your resume to companies who you’d like to work for. Remember: it’s not about how many hours you spend looking for jobs that counts; it’s about being proactive during your search.