I want to tell you a quick story about the best way to look for jobs online. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let me begin.
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, people would apply for a job with pieces of trees. They would be finely cut, processed and then interesting ink would create a story. The proactive job seeker would post it through the mail with the hope it lands in the hands of the VERY IMPORTANT BUSINESS PERSON.
Then, the ability to send our job wishes through the air, invisibly, appeared; by typing in a few numbers, your application or CV would arrive, as if by magic, printing off at the other end via an ingenious device called a facsimile machine! Those in charge would stand around the FAX machine, wondering, does this contain our next employee?
Now, we come quickly to modern-day, where the paper is now made out of pixels and the jobs are not found in print, but online. Yet, many of the inhabitants of the village of “job seeker land” are often confused about finding a job through websites, and spend many an hour in turmoil, not knowing what to do next.
OK, I’ll admit it, the Easter break and time away from the day job has opened up a creative part of my brain that you may not be used to. Whilst I have written the above in jest, it hopefully sums up how utterly bizarre the process of applying for a job can be. To put our lives and experience onto a piece of paper (either tree related or not) and then send it off to faces unknown, all with the hope that you get invited in for an interview.
I’ve been in recruitment for over 15 years now, but I still find the process intriguing and ever-changing. If you are reading this because you find online job searching confusing, you are in the right place. If you want to know the best way to find jobs online, you are also in the right place!
If you were here to read a bedtime story, probably time you stepped away from the screen.
The Balance Collective eight top tips to search for jobs online
1. Know what you could do
Notice this is what you could do, not what you want to do. The best way to search for jobs online is to keep your options option. Consider two or more directions you could go in and keep those in mind when you are job searching. This not only covers jobs and sectors but the working hours too.
2. Know what you won’t do (or your deal breakers)
Think of the search criteria that are absolutes for you. I recommend you keep these to no more than two and can include: minimum salary, location or industry. This will help you eliminate those roles that are an absolute “NO” so you can get focused on what are “MAYBE”
3. Don’t get hung up on a job title
One job title can mean lots of different roles dependent on the sector. For example, in my previous working life, I held the title Project Manager for a while. This is a common title in the world of IT, yet, if you put me in front of some computer hardware, well, the results wouldn’t be the most useful! Look at what the job entails, not what your business card will say.
4. Create more than one CV
You may find that you can go in a variety of different ways job wise (especially if you have worked with a Career Coach like me!). Make sure you have these CV uploaded, with business relevant titles (such as A. Name Marketing CV) rather than CV draft v29925585859.
5. Optimise your CV
Many recruiters and businesses are taking advantage of automated systems and AI where keywords are identified as part of the filtering system. Make sure you include these within your CV or Application (that is full of relevant evidence). The clues of what they will be looking for usually exist within the job description and personal specification, so update your CV before you apply!
You can often find industry-specific sites by searching for “jobs in (insert industry)” in your search engine. Here is an example of the sites that support flexible working. Search using your “absolutes” (see point 2) and then set up “Job Alerts”. You will then get roles regularly sent to your inbox. It streamlines your process and saves you a little time!
7. Remember LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a growing online platform for jobs. Get your online profile up to date and you can use that to apply for roles directly. When you turn on your profile to be open to roles (this will be done privately – other won’t see that) then you will have roles suggested to you!
8. Don’t just use job sites
Online recruiters and job sites are great, but not all jobs will be on there. Many companies won’t advertise with a recruiter, EVER, and others prefer to invest their recruitment money in different ways. So, use your online research tools to look for the types of businesses you would like to work in. Maybe they advertise their roles on their own website? Or, you could even approach them speculatively. Some organisations still do use more traditional models of recruitment including new paper adverts and magazine, so don’t discount those too!
And there you have it. Eight simple ways to improve your online job search. The world of work is changing, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating and overwhelming. At the end of the day, people invest in people, not pixels.
Join The Balance Collective with Clara Wilcox and share your online job search story!
Want to work with me? Read about my services here.