We’re excited to share our first guest post from one of our Advocates, Monster! Joanie Courtney, Senior Vice President at Monster shares her top tips on the right way to find a job online and maximise your chances of getting hired.
Whether you are just starting out in your career or already high on the corporate ladder, searching for that next perfect job online can feel like a daunting task. With a plethora of positions to browse through, it can be tough to know where to start, let alone where to find the best match for your talents and skills. But there are several productive strategies to cut through the clutter to find that perfect job and seal the deal. Here’s how.
1. Build Your Online Brand
Rule number one, before setting out on the online job search, make sure to spend some time establishing your personal online brand. This takes time, but I can’t emphasize how important your digital identity can be in helping you stand out and convince an employer you’re the right match. The web provides a perfect launching pad to showcase your personal expertise and establish your credibility in the field you’re most interested in. On the flipside, don’t forget to Google yourself. Social media has created a fishbowl, and more than ever, our personal and professional lives are intertwined. Employers often review a candidate’s digital footprint as part of the hiring process to ensure they are a good fit for the company. You’d be surprised at just how much is public on the web, and how a seemingly harmless joke might be misconstrued. The last thing you want is for an employer to find a risqué photo, negative tweet or off-color comment. This can often be the make or break deciding factor between landing the job and not. So before sending out resumes, do yourself a favor and be sure to remove anything online you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing with your next boss.
2. Give Yourself a Time Limit
Searching for a new job can be just as demanding as a full-time job, so you have to treat it like one. Set a routine and approach the job search with the same dedication and focus you would bring to any full-time position. If you’re currently working, it’s even more important to set a schedule to focus. With numerous jobs posted online, it takes time and plenty of research to single out the relevant posts. This can sometimes feel exhausting and can lead to oversights and errors in your application. Before you set out on any job search, it’s important to have a plan in place. Stay sharp by allotting a definitive amount of time for yourself each day to search, sort and apply.
3. It Pays to Pay Attention
When applying for a position online, your resume serves as your first impression and it’s also your opportunity to shine, not the place to cut corners. While this seems obvious, it’s not uncommon to make minor mistakes, especially as you are tailoring your resume for different positions. As a rule of thumb, review your resume and then step away for a short break. Coming back to your resume with a clear mind will help you to catch mistakes that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Having a third party, such as a close friend or relative, review your resume can also be helpful. Spend the extra time. It will be worth it. A resume without errors, focused on your best assets shows that you care about the details, and could be the difference between getting your job materials pushed to the wayside or sent to the top of the pile.
4. Keywords Reign Supreme
The online job hunt requires sorting through a tremendous amount of data. With literally thousands of positions to sift through, it’s no wonder many people feel overwhelmed. The key is to focus in on the openings that interest you and are the best match for your skills. Cast a wide net initially, but as you look at opportunities, look at what matches up with your skill expertise, and preferences, both geographic and otherwise. Identifying a few keywords and utilizing job search tools will help you streamline your search process and enable you to be more efficient. These terms are buzzwords that you would find in your desired job’s description or words used to describe the day-to-day in your industry. If you’re looking for your first job, it’s okay to use more general terms and identify more specific language based on the words you see repeating in job descriptions.
5. Do Your Homework
Whether you are searching open positions on your dream employer’s website, or using job boards to find the openings, it’s important to gather all the information and have a clear understanding of the position, the company’s history, mission and culture. This knowledge will not only come in handy for your cover letter, where you can outline specifically how you can add value to the company and make a difference, but also allows you the opportunity to determine what you want from your next role and ultimately helps you to be more strategic in your online search.
6. Be Aggressive
You’ve applied…now what? The battle is half won, but you’re not finished yet. There are a lot of jobs out there, but a lot of job seekers, too. Follow up is key. It’s time to get proactive. Before you move on to your next search, think about whether you have a contact at that company and how you might get that person your resume, cover letter and a link to your job application. The more channels you have to reach the hiring manager the better, so don’t hesitate to use them. When you do reach out, remember to be professional, but not too pushy. The goal is to showcase your strong follow up skills and ability to get noticed without annoying the hiring manager.
7. Look On the Bright Side
Lastly, remember to stay positive. If you’re unemployed or feeling impatient about moving to a more fulfilling position, it’s easy to harbor doubts or negative thoughts about whether it’s ever going to happen. But the fact is, employers are looking to hire positive people who are going to make a real difference, add energy and bring value to the company. If you’re not positive, it will come through in your application, your interview and will ultimately hinder you from achieving your next big gig.
Joanie Courtney is Senior Vice President, Market Development, at Monster Worldwide. Courtney is responsible for advancing the company’s customer engagement strategy, utilizing Monster’s breadth of technology and advertising solutions and driving more consultative client relationships.
Courtney is an employment industry expert with over 20 years of experience leading sales, marketing and operations for some of the top firms in the employment industry, including executive roles with two of the largest employment firms in the world. Throughout her career she has counseled and worked wide range of companies including many of the Fortune 500. She was responsible for oversight of a world class customer service program for a multibillion dollar employment firm and also led a large business process transformation project to grow retail professional business at Adecco, NA, which is the largest employment firm in the world.
As an employment industry advisor, she is often called upon to discuss the job market, careers, and workplace trends and speak to the talent supply and demand cycles that impact U.S. employers. She is frequently featured as a keynote speaker at industry conferences, and her commentary on the employment market has been featured on media outlets like Fox and Fox Business Network, Associated Press, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes.
Monster Worldwide, Inc. is the global leader in successfully connecting job opportunities and people. Monster uses the world’s most advanced technology to help people Find Better, matching job seekers to opportunities via digital, social and mobile solutions including monster.com® and employers to the best talent using a vast array of products and services. As an Internet pioneer, more than 200 million people have registered on the Monster Worldwide network. Today, with operations in more than 40 countries, Monster provides the broadest, most sophisticated job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management capabilities globally. For more information visit about-monster.com.