To be sure some people get hired by applying on line, but very few do. It’s a search tactic that works occasionally, but if it’s the only tactic you use, or if you spend more the 5 percent of your time doing it, you are wasting valuable time and extending the time it will take you to find a job.
Consider the alternatives; finding networking venues and doing real networking, cold-calling into companies and speaking to hiring managers, utilizing external recruiters, vetting companies you may be interested in by doing research on them, attending professional meetings in your discipline and making sure your critical collateral documents, your resume and cover letter, can be read by ATS software when you finally get to the point where you have to submit (don’t let anyone tell you this simply means putting the right key words into your documents; there is far more to it than that). If you are not doing all of these things, your search is too narrow, you’re not meeting people you need to know, you’re not talking to people who can help you and you’re not finding out enough about companies that interest you to know if you’d even want to work for them. Each of these search tactics requires knowledge and training that, understandably, you probably don’t have, so get help and expect to invest in it! Do it as early in your search as possible.
Job searching is a full time job if you’re not currently employed and searching. You can’t be expected to understand the recruiting industry if you’ve never worked in it. You can’t be expected to know how to properly vet companies if you’ve never done that. You can’t be expected to know cold-calling techniques or how to get past the gate-keepers if you’ve never done that.
But you simply cannot afford to sit at your computer all day searching job boards, company websites and recruiting company websites and expect to find a job. The numbers are stacked against you. You may be better off playing the mega-million lottery so you never have to work again.
On-line searching is a valid search tactic for information gathering, for getting leads on where to go and what to do next, but not for applying for jobs! Learn from people who know how to use it. Don’t necessarily assume you can be self-taught. The same applies to all the other tactics in your toolbox.
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