by Lisa McGrimmon
Searching for online job ads can take up an enormous amount of your time. These 4 simple strategies will help you make the most of your time spent searching through job hunting websites.
There are an endless number of sources of job advertisements on the Internet, and sifting through all of those sites for hours is usually not the best use of your time.
I suggest people spend no more than about 20% of their time pursuing advertised job postings. The other 80% of the time is best used pursuing unadvertised jobs.
That means, if you are spending 40 hours per week looking for work, only about 8 hours will be devoted to pursuing advertised positions.
You can't possibly sort through all of the advertisements you can find online. There are just too many, and it will take away time that is better spent looking for unadvertised leads.
Rather than sorting through pages advertisements on many general job lead websites, choose one or two general sites that you find the most useful. Those might include Monster.com, or Indeed, or a job board run by your local government.
Try to determine the main couple of advertisement sites that employers in your region use when they want to advertise vacancies, and commit to checking those sites regularly. Be sure to determine the most efficient way to search the sites for the type of employment you are seeking.
Once you've covered one or two of the best sites, do not feel compelled to look for ad online at every other site you can find. Your time is limited, and searching every job hunting website you can find is just not the most effective use of your time.
You will not be missing much by focusing on one or two of the best general sites, but you will miss a lot if you spend all of your time online and fail to devote time to searching for unadvertised leads.
Websites specific to your industry that have postings can be a worthwhile place to spend a bit of your job searching time.
Look for sites that are focused on serving people in your industry and your local area and see if they post jobs online.
Some employers who need to advertise will only post their ads on industry-specific websites (or in industry journals) as a way of pre-screening candidates. They completely avoid advertising on general sites. It's a strategy for targeting their audience so they only get resumes from people with a connection to their industry.
If you are not regularly checking important, local, industry-specific sites that offer postings, you could be missing out on the very best advertised opportunities in your field.
If you are unable to find any industry-specific websites with online job ads in your location, try contacting your professional association. They should be able to point you toward those types of resources in your industry. You can also ask the staff at an employment resource center in your area.
If there are a few companies that you would love to work for, have a look at their websites to see if they advertise jobs online. If they do, check back on a regular basis to see if they have posted any opportunities that are a good match for your skills and experience.
When you check out specific company websites, you might not find an obvious link to job postings. Remember, company websites are normally designed to engage customers, not to recruit new employees. Links to opportunities at the company may not be front and center.
Look carefully all over the site for any links that might lead to online job ads for the company. The link may be in tiny font at the very top or bottom of the page.
If you don't find a link to their postings, and the site has a search function, try searching for the terms job, or vacancies, or career opportunities, and you might find a page of job openings buried amid the rest of the site.
Organize the Sites You Visit
Once you have determined all of the sites you will use to find leads, bookmark and organize them all into one folder so you can access them all quickly.
It is smart to visit each site daily because the faster you respond to a online job ads, the better. However, do not get pulled into spending your entire day surfing on job posting websites.
Limit your time searching online, and search efficiently so you will be able to commit most of your time to searching for unadvertised jobs.
Organize Your Email
Consider creating a new email address for yourself that you use only for job search-related activities. You can use this email address to contact employers, on your resume, and to create a profile on any of the sites with online job ads that you are using.
Be sure the address is simple and professional sounding so it makes a good impression.
If you keep a dedicated job search email address, you can keep yourself organized because you will know anything related to looking for work will be at that address.
If your regular inbox is full, and you quickly scan and delete a lot of messages, having a dedicated job search email address will ensure you do not accidentally miss or delete an important email from an employer.
While it is not wise to spend too much time searching for advertised positions online, spending about 20% of your time pursuing online job adsand other types of advertised jobs is reasonable.
Focus on the very best job search websites and leave the rest. That way you won't likely miss any good advertised opportunities, and you will still be able to devote a reasonable amount of time to other important strategies.