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How Not to Find a Job Using the Internet

How Not To Find A JobIf you’re unemployed and looking for a job or employed but want a better job, here’s what you should absolutely not do:  spend inordinate amounts of energy fine-tuning your resume, posting it to online job and resume banks, and waiting for email inquiries to fill your inbox.

Sure, people do that.  And some would make a case that you really have to use the job websites to get your name out there in today’s digital world.  But seriously, is that it?  Is that all a person can do to leverage the Internet?  Hardly. 

As recruiters, our biggest challenge is finding that gem of a candidate for our client, that man or woman who fits the client’s needs perfectly.  We often find our best candidates not from resume banks, but from networks -online or in-person; online forums where intelligent, experienced people are discussing industry issues.  People who make an impression in those arenas are demonstrating their abilities by their inquiries and their comments.

An Illustration from the Real World

Here’s an illustration from the bricks and mortor world that helps explain this concept.  Picture a convention center in a major city, one with a large exhibit hall and dozens of smaller conference rooms of varying sizes.  The cavernous exhibit hall is filled with rows upon rows of jobseekers seated in chairs, thousands of them, all waiting for someone to come along and pick them for a job.

Meanwhile, in the dozens of smaller conference rooms, people are huddled in groups, talking earnestly about issues of importance in their industries or fields of practice.  Some of them are looking for jobs.  Most of them aren’t.  Within those conversations, job seekers are equals and they have the opportunity to contribute ideas and pose challenging questions.

Back in the exhibition hall, the job seekers continue to sit in their chairs and wait.

Networking is networking:  online or in person

The lesson here is simple:  use online forums to demonstrate your experience and make yourself visible to people in your field.  All you have to do is find those forums where your desired peer group is active and become active yourself.  Ask interesting questions and provide insightful responses.  People will start to interact with you and over time, you’ll begin to create online relationships that you can add to your LinkedIn list. Call it your ‘Social Footprint’.

With those relationships established, when jobs open up in certain companies where your LinkedIn contacts work, you can approach those contacts to let them know you’re qualified for the job that’s been posted.  Those individuals know you from the online forums and would be more inclined to help you get a foot in the door for interviews.

To be frank, social networking is not unlike traditional networking.  You’d never sit in a room with thousands of others waiting for someone to notice you.  Why would you do that online?

So be bold.  Get online and start networking!

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