Improving Your Online Job Hunt

by Miranda Marquit · 9 comments

My husband is in the process of looking for jobs online. He is just finishing up his Ph.D. work, and is looking for work. Because we live in a rather small and secluded town, it is clear that we will have to move in order for him to find work. This makes the Internet essential to his efforts. As he searches online, he is making efforts to search more efficiently, without spending time wading through irrelevant postings on huge sites.

With unemployment stubbornly high, the way you conduct your online job hunt could make a the difference between having a great job and being in one that you absolutely hate. Here are some things to consider as you work to improve your online job hunt:

Look to the Source

One of the best things to do is to think about which organizations you are interested in working for, and go to the source. My husband would like to work in public health, so he has been looking at postings for different state and local governments to see whether researcher and community educator positions are available. He is also looking at research institutes and even the federal government’s USA Jobs site.

If you have an idea of what you want to do, and where you could do it, go to the source and look online to see if there are job openings, or if you can put your application and resume on file.

Visit Industry and Niche Job Boards

Rather than looking at major job sites, you can check out niche job boards. My husband is also considering that post-doc may be his best bet for riding out the current job market troubles. So he is looking at boards that cater to post-docs, as well as visiting the sources of jobs. Many industries have job boards related to them, and this can be a good way to see what is available in your specific industry.

Watch Your Online Profile

As you engage in your online job hunt, it is important to make sure that your online profile is professional. This is about more than just signing up for a LinkedIn profile. It means that your other social media profiles, such as on Facebook and Twitter, are appropriate as well. More and more, employers are doing research on a wide variety of social media. What you put out there in public could be a problem. On the other hand, if you are tweeting interesting and useful information about your industry, and if the “info” section of your Facebook account offers some insight into your expertise, your social media profiles could be helpful. It’s all about creating a consistent picture of your personal brand image.

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Get the Word Out

You don’t have to beg for a job, but you can let your social network know that you are looking. Even your offline network can help you. My mom sent my husband a link to a possible job that she had heard of. This made my husband’s online job search a little easier — and offered a possibility he hadn’t considered originally. When others know you are looking, it makes it easier for your name to come to mind if someone asks for recommendations. Don’t worry, opportunities are everywhere.

What do you do to boost your online job hunt efforts?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Finding a job is not an easy task. In today’s digital age its important now more than ever to differentiate yourself and your resume from other job applicants. Don’t be just another piece of paper in a pile of resumes.

  • Steve Jobs says:

    One way of getting that precious job online is to spread or submit your resume to all job sites that you can find. Most employers are searching for the right person and with lots of job sites out there, you can get emails on a daily basis. Finding the right job works two ways, let it be known that you exists and let employers find you and apply to jobs you are interested in.

  • Steve Jobs says:

    Oh. Well, looking for a job online is not that hard. But this is really useful. I am a freelancer and I am awake every night just looking for jobs that I can earn from for the time being (just lost my job) LOL. There are many freelancing websites that people can check out . Anyways, thanks for sharing this one.

  • KM says:

    I think it’s sad that people with PhDs have trouble finding work. I understand that companies are reluctant to hire someone who will be a huge salary drain with a rather focused knowledge base and would opt to find several people who have more varied experience and would not cost as much, but it feels like all that brain power is wasted while these people are unemployed. I have a friend who is in a similar situation after getting a PhD in aerospace engineering.

    From my own experience, it seems to be a lot better to apply to smaller companies or more “informal” ads rather than big corporations that get a million resumes and filter them using keywords, so getting your resume even looked at by a person is nearly impossible unless you know the exact keywords they are looking for. I heard the advice about getting your foot in the door and networking so many times, but many of these companies don’t even accept recommendations from people you might have networked with and only look at filtered resumes. I found my (really awesome) job on craigslist, even though I had doubts about most of the sketchy ads on there. When ads are shorter, more concise, and more unique and personable, they are likely written individually by a person really looking for someone special, rather than a mass advertisement copied and pasted in numerous places. It seems that the trick these days is actually getting your resume looked at, after which point you have the opportunity to impress them, get invited to an interview, impress them even more, and land the job.

  • Jenna says:

    Along with LinkedIn, I would add engaged in conversations on Twitter and showing off your presentation skills with Slideshare.

  • vered says:

    Forwarding to a friend who’s looking for a job. Thanks.

  • MoneyNing says:

    I think starting a website in the industry that you plan to work in while you search for a job is a great idea. It will not only increase your skills, but building the website will give you a chance to search for industry news and be ready for the inevitable next job interview.

  • Miranda says:

    Great point. My husband is already thinking about where he can volunteer grant-writing services, in case his job hunt takes up too much time after he finishes his schooling at the end of the current semester. You are right that you need to show some initiative.

  • Since job searches typically take a long period of time, I think it is important that you account for time between jobs with some meaningful addition. If there is a year gap in your work history and your profile is just empty during that period, potential hiring companies may think twice. If instead you provide a short summary of any consulting done or your efforts to launch a website or your delving into the many facets of social networking to grow your knowledge, these things show that you have not been idle and still have that drive to improve yourself and your situation.

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