Finding the perfect job is less of a science and more of an art form!
And as a budding job artist looking for the perfect gallery in which to display your skills, there are a few techniques worth mastering!
In today’s article, we’ll explore the art of searching for and applying to jobs online, so that your job search becomes its own masterpiece!
Let’s take a look!
Customize your resume
When reviewing job postings online, you have access to the exact qualities and qualifications that your potential employer wants to see in their ideal candidate.
You can pick out keywords and action words that align with your own work experience, so that you can tweak your resume to be a perfect fit. Look for key terms that are repeated, or adjectives and action verbs that most succinctly describe the job.
You don’t need to redo your resume everytime — in fact, you should start by creating a master resume that includes every work and educational experience you’ve had, then simply narrow it down when customizing your resume for a specific application. Afterwards, reword your descriptions to match those keywords and action words you noticed before!
Not only does this help you speak directly to what recruiters are looking for, it will also help you bypass Applicant Tracking Software systems that often filter out resumes with no relevant keywords.
Organize your time
Stress and burnout are as real a problem in a job search as they are at a job.
Make sure you allow yourself time to step away from your search and keep your energy levels high. But set a schedule for when you’ll buckle down and focus only on your search, too, free from distractions.
With digital job searches, it’s easy to lose track of who you’ve applied to work with, where you are in the application, and any other specifics that matter greatly. To keep your time and efforts organized, start a spreadsheet with the contact information, links to job postings, and dates/deadlines for easy reference!
Leave no stone unturned
There are a lot of ways to look for jobs online, but one mistake many job seekers make is not casting a wider net.
Of course, there are mainstream online job boards, but in some cases, you may want to explore more niche directories.
This could mean looking at specific companies for job postings that may only be mentioned on their company website. Or following certain recruiters on LinkedIn or other social media platforms.
It may also mean searching for job boards that are intended for the specific type of work you’re looking for. For instance, there are websites that cater specifically to freelance and contract workers, as well as certain job positions like graphic designers or video production specialists — there are even job boards specifically for remote online work, so if you’re already searching online, why not consider working online too?
Find the right balance of communication
If recruiters never hear from you, you’ll never hear back from them. But too much communication can be just as bad for your search.
As a general rule, you should only send one follow up email after applying for a job. And all of your communication with recruiters and hiring managers should be as brief as possible to show you respect their time.
You can always say your door is open to future opportunities, and invite them to contact you in the future at their convenience. That way you keep the lines of communication open.
But bombarding recruiters with spammy or unwanted emails is a fast way to get your resume thrown out of the running.
Answer your own questions
Piggybacking off our last tip, it’s important to not waste time directing questions to recruiters that you can find with a few minutes of your own research.
Almost every business has an online presence these days, so while employers may appreciate that you’re curious about their business, they won’t appreciate it if you ask obvious or superficial questions about things which are already disclosed somewhere on the internet.
So before you ask a person, ask Google for that info!
Creativity vs. Formality
Nowadays we all have so much control over how we present ourselves online. Some people build their entire careers thanks to carefully curating their digital image.
The way you interact with recruiters should be a reflection of your personal brand. That said, you need to think carefully about which situations invite you to be creative, and which ones require you to be more formal in your approach.
For example, if you are applying to be a video editor, sending in a video resume introducing yourself to a potential employer is a great creative way to show off your skills!
But if you are applying for a desk job at a law firm, it’s probably best to show you have a mind for following instructions to the letter, and not try to go a different direction with your application than what they request.
Before applying, consider if the way you want to apply is a good match to the type of culture the company values most.
Honesty, Transparency, and Privacy
“Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin’ is knowin’ what to throw away and knowin’ what to keep” – Kenny Rogers
Your job search shouldn’t be a gamble, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what cards are worth playing close to your chest.
You should always be 100% honest when applying or interviewing for a job. There’s no doubt about that. But you should also appreciate what should and shouldn’t be shared.
When you keep this in mind, it protects you in more ways than one. By not discussing any major negatives in your history (unless prompted first) you can avoid steering the conversation to difficult places that might give the wrong impression.
But this mindset also helps you to be wary of any employer who is asking for information that infringes on your privacy, such as age, gender, marital status, religion, sexuality, ethnicity, etc. You have every right to be treated fairly and equitably without risk of bias, and should never feel pressured to discuss anything you don’t feel comfortable with.
And when it comes to how you display yourself online, don’t forget to clean up your social media and adjust any privacy settings that control who can see your digital footprint! While you and your friends might love those photo memories of last weekend’s party, your future employer might not feel so enthusiastically about them…
Relationships are the real opportunities
When you recognize that the rapport you build with recruiters, employers, mentors, and peers is worth far more than a single job offer, you’ll have struck proverbial gold in your job search.
Many job offerings never even get to the public. They are offered through referrals and to those with whom the employer has already built a reasonable amount of trust.
In the digital age, it is easier than ever to stay in contact with anyone and everyone who could help you down the road!
So try not to get caught up in the little details of whether you’ll get a specific job or not — focus on the big picture of building (and maintaining) a strong network of people who know your name!
Prep your references
Many job seekers make the mistake of not warning their references that they may be contacted about a job application.
But you won’t make that mistake, will you?
Of course not! You know that not only is it important to check with your references to ensure they are still okay with being contacted, it also gives you a chance to confirm their contact information and when they would be free to talk to your recruiter!
Plus, you can give them a heads up about what the recruiter is looking for. Consider sending them a link to the job posting, or a copy of your resume so they have all the important details. That way they know exactly what to talk about when they give you that glowing recommendation!
At ReStart, we’re masters of the art of the digital job search (in fact “art” is in our name)!
And we love to share what we know with any other job search artists out there. You can book a free 1-on-1 appointment today to get personalized help with every aspect of your job search — online or otherwise!