3 Assumptions You Should Never Make About Online Job Search

WorkCoachCafeI talk with job seekers often, and usually they are frustrated – having a hard time making progress in their job search.  The main problem I see is that job seekers are job hunting using the old methods that worked for their last job search.

Technology has changed many other things in our lives the last few years (used a pay phone or a fold-out map recently?).  Isn’t it logical that the process for finding a job has also changed?

3 Bad Assumptions About Job Hunting Today

Your job search will be longer if you are making any of these 3 assumptions:

1.  The Internet has made finding a job much easier.

No.  It hasn’t.  The Internet has actually made job search more challenging, particularly in the last few years with the emergence and widespread use of search engines and social media.

Employers have changed their methods of recruiting with the increase in the numbers of job seekers plus the availability of new technology to handle that volume.  Not ALL employers have changed, to be sure, but the majority of large employers are doing things differently. Ignoring those changes makes a job search more difficult.

What to do instead –

Make your resume findable in a resume database,  manage your online reputation so you aren’t “screened out” by a Google search, and network more effectively.

2.  The key to success is a great resume.

No.  Not “the key” to success.  Great resumes (plural! – customized for each opportunity) are very important.  But, resumes are becoming less important as LinkedIn grows in dominance as recruiters’ favorite source of qualified applicants.

What to do instead –

If you don’t have a LinkedIn Profile with at least 100 connections, and aren’t participating actively and intelligently in at least 5 LinkedIn Groups, get started.  Immediately.  And if you are submitting the same resume for every opportunity, update your process and methods so that each resume you submit is customized for that employer and that opportunity.  This means paying careful attention to the keywords used in the job description.

Resumes plus LinkedIn combine with other online visibility, email, and networking to become a bigger picture, hopefully unified and consistent across all venues, known as a “personal brand.”

3.  Apply for as many jobs as possible.

Doesn’t really work.  Fewer, high-quality applications are much more effective now than a large quantity of poorly done applications.  While a job search may feel like a big gamble sometimes, a job hunt is not a lottery that “pays off” when you have submitted enough applications.

What to do instead –

Apply carefully for jobs that are good fits for you (and places where you actually want to work).  Fewer, high-quality applications provide a much better return for your effort than sitting in front of a computer hitting that “Apply” button over and over and over.  Add an employee referral to greatly improve the probability of success.

Successful Job Search Process Change Continues

Hold on to your hat!  We aren’t done with the evolution of recruiting and, consequently, the evolution of job search.  Technology impacts almost all other aspects of our lives, from how we stay in touch to how we drive our cars, and our use of technology continues to increase.  So, stay tuned.  I’ll do my best to keep you up-to-date.


About the author…

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce 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 2011, NETability purchased WorkCoachCafe.com, which Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoach since then.  Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org.  Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on .

More on Successful Job Search

Beat the Technology Traps for Job Seekers

Newest Resume Black Holes: Applicant Tracking Systems (“ATS”)

Why Isn’t LinkedIn Helping My Job Search?

Before You Apply: Answer 4 Important Questions

Why Submitting a Resume Isn’t Enough and What to Do

Is Your Job Search Too Old-Fashioned?


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