Job postings online are reaching ‘Tower of Babel’ proportions, accounting for millions of listings and reaching ever higher on the corporate ladder into the highest-paying professional positions.
Can you really find a great job in the midst of that clutter?
Yes and no. Job boards can help at lot. Many people do find their way into a job using this path. The problem, though, is that like Mesopotamia’s biblical tower falling under its own weight, the ever-multiplying job boards are growing unwieldy, with too many wordy listings and too little real communication.
“You can’t rely on online job ads. They are just one of the tools at your disposal,” said Daniel Schawbel, managing partner of Millennial Branding LLC. “Use them as part of an overall strategy. You can’t know what will work for you until you try.”
On Schwabel’s site, he lists three reasons not to bother submitting your resume to a job board: (1) many jobs have already been filled; (2) your resume goes into a large database and you don’t stand out; and (3) employers look at job boards as their last hope to fill a job.
But keeping all of that in mind, here are a few tips to make online job posting work for you.
Keywords matter. Look for specific words in the job description that relate to your experience, and be sure those make it into your job summary. Read carefully to see if you really are a good fit; faking it is a mistake. You might tell yourself “I think I can do that.” But with scores of applicants for every job, screeners (especially if they are computers) will not spend a lot of time squeezing ‘nearly qualified’ people through the process.
Be there at the right time. “People underestimate the importance of geography and availability,” one hiring manager at a blue chip recruiting firm told me. “It’s a very high priority.” In the past, companies have been more willing to pay for cross-country moves or to wait for the right candidate to show up. Hiring managers are more likely to act quickly when their job request gets funded, especially at a time when so many experienced workers need positions. It’s not all luck. It’s readiness. The lesson: When you apply, be ready to fly.