When I first entered the job market many, many moons ago, having an online presence was as relevant as a hybrid car was in the mid 80’s.Â Not so now, you must have a coherent online presence and strategy.Â And as with all things there are correct ways and not so correct ways to go about it.Â Let’s discuss a few mistakes online job hunters routinely make:
- Exclusively job hunting on the Internet – If this was a mistake a few years ago, it could be catastrophic today.Â It seems as though thousands of people apply for just a single posting in today’s online market.Â That’s brutal for the job applicant, but even more so for the job poster.Â How do companies limit the pool of applicants – well – one guess would be not post the jobs online.Â Could this be happening, perhaps?Â Honestly, I don’t know but I have heard comments going in that direction.Â I do know this; the best jobs are not posted.Â The best jobs are found through networking and contacts.Â If you are hunting exclusively online, not only are you going up against brutal odds; you are missing out on much “better” opportunities.
- Overdoing it – There are so many social networking outlets today.Â You could post your profile on all of them but why.Â Posting a half baked profile on all these social networking sites is not much different than mass mailing generic resumes to whomever (and you know how I feel about generic resumes).Â A much better approach may be to develop a coherent profile focusing on your transferable skills and experience first.Â Then, research who and where you want to advertise yourself before committing.Â But do commit, because…
- Putting yourself out there and waiting – This is a terrible mistake.Â Let people know you are out there.Â You build a persuasive profile and then, don’t tell anyone.Â You must activate all of your network, online and offline, to let them know, so they can help you.
- Lastly, if you tell recruiters or human resources professionals that you have a blog or site, mind what you post – You must always assume that the hiring managers will look at your posts and what you put on Twitter.Â If you have a Facebook or MySpace site, assume they will look at it.Â Will you be a job applicant who was rejected because of inappropriate comments or odd photos or unacceptable videos?Â How would you know?Â Why would you take the chance?Â Clean up and make it professional.
A successful job strategy involves multiple avenues.Â Yet within each avenue, you must have a coherent strategy for making the most of that avenue.Â And that means doing nothing that hurts you or gives a hiring manager a reason to screen you out.Â Just remember, the Internet gives you freedom like we never had 20 plus years ago, but it grants the same freedom to tens of millions of others.Â
So, always remember to network face to face, send out cover letters and resumes, and assume everyone’s reading your blog, including the hiring manager (that could be great thing).