My previous articles about online recruiting have focused mainly on issues facing employers. Now it is time to take a look at the medium through the eyes of the candidate. There are several steps a job seeker can take to better their chances of finding employment through the internet. Two areas we can focus on are: identifying opportunities and marketing yourself online. The rules that apply to traditional job searching do not always translate to the internet and there are many new ones.
Where on the internet should a candidate go to identify job opportunities? I find it best to take a “trickle-down” approach. Start at the website of the company you’d most like to work for (most will have a “careers” link). The corporate job board is much more likely to have all of it’s available positions posted, and updated the most often. Any new opening will appear here before it’s on any other website. The reason is simple; it’s a free resource for the company. Further, best practice companies are realizing the importance of building a solid job board as part of their employment branding strategy. As a result they encourage all of their properties to actively use their site. A corporate job board will also offer candidates the ability to educate themselves on the company culture. Unfortunately, only the best practice companies are doing a satisfactory job maintaining their job boards, but that is slowly changing. Also, smaller or independent properties typically have not invested much in their websites, but that does not mean they aren’t a great place to work.
The next places to look are industry specific job boards like www.hospitalitycareernet.com or generalist job boards like www.monster.com. Here you will be able to find jobs from an assortment of companies. Unsure of what site offers careers in the hospitality industry. Go to www.google.com and type “hospitality careers” in the search box. This will give you a good idea of places to start. Are you looking to stay within a specific state or region? There are job boards specific to location that can be sourced. Today, major newspapers are now all offering their help wanted sections online go to online. Go to www.nytimes.com to see an example. Industry specific search firms have websites too; don’t forget to check those out for even more opportunities.
Now that you have identified an opportunity, how do you go about applying to it? Do you have your resume posted on the website as well? While crafting an attractive resume is important, candidates need to be aware of other issues specific to job boards. Make sure you are using a simple, professional looking email address when registering on a site, not the one professing your love for your local sports team. This is the email address employers will see, not just the one on your resume. Email accounts are free these days, if necessary; create another one just for business communication. Some websites allow you to post your resume, but still remain a confidential candidate. This way employer can find out what your skills are but not know any of your personal information. Find out the specific details about confidentiality for each website, and how it works. Too often I see people paste personal information into a field that they think won’t be viewable by the employer. There are many cases in which a job seeker should have multiple resumes. Depending upon the job you are applying to, you may wish to highlight different areas of your experience or skill set. Be aware of which resume that you are sending, and ones that may be viewable online. You do not want to confuse or give the impression that you are misleading employers.
The most common complaint job seekers have about online recruiting is the lack of response they hear from employers, be it positive or negative. True, companies can do a better job of following up with candidates, even if they are being inundated with resumes. However applicants need to be realistic about the jobs they are applying to. Be sure you are doing enough research in the beginning, and that you meet the minimum requirements stated in the job description. As with most things, if you spend enough time on research and preparation you will dramatically increase your chances of success and land that next great job.