A job seeker recently posted his frustration about the current state of job search in a comment here on WorkCoachCafe. He said, “I’ve applied for 11,437 jobs as of today within the past 14 months of searching. This online stuff doesn’t work, but what else can you do?”
How very frustrating for him! But the lack of results is not surprising…
Using very strong language, recruiters have told me that when they see an individual applying for every open job, regardless of their fit with the job’s requirements, they learn quickly to ignore that applicant as, basically, a spammer. So, all of those applications are a waste of the job seeker’s time, and just make a bad impression on the employer.
3 Job Search Strategies that Actually Work
Obviously, as this job seeker and so many others have discovered, a high quantity of applications doesn’t accomplish what they want. This job seeker asked what else you can do. Combine these 3 strategies for a successful job search for your perfect job:
1. Focus on high-quality applications, NOT a high quantity of applications.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Employers absolutely judge you as a potential employee by the quality of your approach and documents - and if the first “work” of yours they see is a poorly-done job application or a slipshod resume for inappropriate jobs, their interest in you is killed.
- Be smartly selective.
Pick 20, 50, even 100 employers where you think you could be happy working. And choose 1 or 2 job titles to target (3 at the most). Then, focus on those jobs with those employers. Learn as much as you can about these employers (check the employer websites, LinkedIn Company Profiles, employee LinkedIn Profiles, results in Google/Bing searches, etc.).
- Stand out with the quality of your approach and documents, like a top employee.
Demonstrate the quality of your work product, from your networking to resume submission and interview preparation. This requires your “A Game” – in all aspects from initial contact and resume customized for each employer through final negotiations for the job offer.
Read Why Submitting a Resume Isn’t Enough, and What You Can Do for more tips on what works today.
2. Pay attention to your online reputation, the new critical necessity.
Most job seekers underestimate the impact of their online reputation and lack appropriate visibility.
With more than 80% of employers checking out applicants with an Internet search on Google or Bing before inviting them in for an interview, smart job seekers make sure that those search results show employers good information about them – information that supports the application and also demonstrates that the job seeker understands how to operate successfully in today’s online world. LinkedIn is currently the best method of managing a positive online image for yourself.
- Invisibility is very bad!
I know so many job seekers who are proud that if you do a search on their name on Google you find nothing. Wrong! Invisibility makes you look out-of-date (or clueless).
- Too much casual visibility is also bad!
On the other hand, if you have been publicly-sharing crazy party photos or complaining about being hung-over, you also have a problem. Clean up your act – remove all of that bad visibility that you can, and build up positive visibility for yourself. Read the You Are Being Watched! And Judged! post for more information.
- Develop a set of profiles that supports your job search.
Manage positive visibility for yourself to establish your online reputation or to push the bad stuff off the first page of search results – the LinkedIn Profile is an excellent start. If you have negative visibility to replace or bury, read the Reputation Management (or Recovery) post for additional places to establish profiles.
Worrying about our online visibility is a new issue for many of us. But, think how the Internet has dramatically changed the way we shop, get our news, and do many other things. It has had a similar major impact on recruiting and job search. Ignore these changes, and your job search will be much longer than it needs to be.
3. Network your way into your new job.
You’ve read/heard this advice a thousand times, because it is the way the vast majority of job seekers land jobs. In comparison with the pre-Internet era, networking is thousands of times easier to do now. Follow the 7-step process in Express Lane to a New Job – Employee Referral.
© Copyright, 2013, Susan P. Joyce. All rights reserved.
By Susan P. Joyce, Online job search expert. Susan has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 1998, her company, NETability, Inc. purchased Job-Hunt.org, and Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt since then. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.
More on How to Search for a Job
Defensive Googling (Job-Hunt.org)