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Most job seekers spend most of their days online applying on LinkedIn, Workopolis, Indeed and other job search sites. While this may feel productive, it is actually very ineffective. Employers are bombarded with online applications and the reality is that the hiring manager is not able to thoroughly review hundreds of resumes and cover letters. Any candidate that is referred to them will automatically be moved to the top of the pile.
Instead of applying for jobs online, job hunters should focus on scheduling meetings with current and former colleagues and people from their professional associations. Networking events, trade shows, alumni events, job fairs, volunteer work- these are the opportunities to connect with other individuals. Make networking a habit, not something you do only when you need a job. By including this practice in your normal routine, you’ll automatically increase your chances of hearing about opportunities. So make a point of staying in regular touch with former colleagues. Finally, make it easy for people to help you find a job. When you’re talking to contacts who might be valuable for your search, tell them about the kinds of positions you’re looking for and the employers or fields that interest you. Then follow up with emails so they’ll have handy takeaways summarizing what you discussed. Always end your networking conversations by asking: “Who else should I be talking to?” That question will, in turn, lead to introductions. Your time online should be spent researching and preparing for your face to face meetings with people.
Although online job searching is one of the most popular ways to search for a new position, it is important to remember that it is also imperfect and that it can be ineffective in helping you obtain the employment you want. Sometimes, using more traditional channels for job hunting is the best alternative for finding the job you want.