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Three Effective Online Job Search Strategies

By Lea McLeod (1244 words)
Posted in Career Change, Job Search on January 29, 2014

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In last month’s article we talked about 4 job search strategies to get you started. The strategies are designed to help get you out of the online centric “spray and pray” approach to job searching. 


Those 4 strategies that will get you started are: 


  1. Set your goal.

  2. Develop your self-marketing profile. 

  3. Target companies and organizations you’d like to work for. 

  4. Begin reaching out to your network. 


This month we want to expand on these strategies and give you specific search strategies to use in the online space. As a follow-on, my next article will specifically address using Twitter as a job search tool!  


Your job search strategy should focus most of your time on the activities that yield the best results: networking and building relationships within target organizations. However, the 10% to 20% you spend online should also be well spent, focused on activities that move your strategy forward. 


Three Effective Online Job Search Strategies 


To make your job efforts on line more effective, start with three job search strategies. They are:


  1. Download the LinkedIn Jobs Insider Toolbar.

  2. Use Niche Job Boards.

  3. Use company job boards. 


#1: Download the LinkedIn Jobs Insider Toolbar


For the 20% of your time you spend looking at big job boards, the toolbar will automatically tell you who in your network is connected to a job you may be interested in. 


For example, I selected a job randomly posted on Monster, and the toolbar automatically shows I have 910 people in my network that are connected to that organization.


Figure 1 Using the Jobs Insider Toolbar, I see that 910 people
in my network are connected to this job posting.


If you are going to use Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder.com, SimplyHired, Yahoo jobs, or Craigslist, the LinkedIn toolbar will tell you where you are connected. Then, you must revert to your “offline” strategy of connecting with others. 


Now you have a more comfortable way to cold call or cold e-mail or ask to be connected through someone else. It takes the “spray and pray” online application and brings it back to a more relationship-oriented level.

Why? To put it in perspective, Indeed.com experiences 1.5 billion job searches per month. Monster receives 437,000 new resume uploads per week. To stand out, you need to connect. 


You cannot complete based on this volume alone when you’re working on the big job boards. So, supplement your strategy with off line networking as well. 


To download your toolbar, go here: http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=ie_toolbar_download_promo



#2: Use Niche Job Boards


Niche job boards are those focused around a specific type of domain expertise or industry. Employers who post on these are serious about finding and hiring the talent they need. In a sense, you’re a bigger fish in a smaller pond. 


Figure 2 MediaBistro.com specializes in jobs for advertising and magazines. 


Experts say that tapping into niche sites increases your chances not only of finding the job you're looking for, but also of landing that job, experts say.


Here is a list of niche-specific job boards you can include in your online search strategy. 


  1. Talentzoo.com – Advertising, marketing and PR jobs.

  2. HospitalityOnline.com – Hotel and service industry jobs. 

  3. Academiccareers.com- Jobs at colleges and other academic institutions.

  4. Ecoemploy.com- It doesn’t look like much, but tons of eco and green jobs.

  5. EnvironmentalCareer.info- ditto.

  6. MediaBistro- Job board for advertising, publishing, magazines, media, etc.

  7. FindLaw- Attorneys, paralegals, etc.

  8. HCareers.com- Hospitality, hotels, tourist jobs.

  9. FoodAndDrinkJobs.com- Restaurant, cooks, service worker jobs.

  10. CafePharma- Good community site for pharma sales professionals with loads of job postings.

  11. Telecomcareers.net- The largest job site for telecom and wireless professionals.

  12. JobsInManufacturing.com- Everything from logistics to quality control to general assembly line jobs.

  13. AllRetailJobs.com- Everything from cashiers to district managers.

  14. JobsInLogistics.com- Distribution, logistics, supply chain, freight.

  15. JobsInTrucks.com- Similar to the above, but with a focus on the trucking industry.

  16. GreatInsuranceJobs.com- Insurance sales, underwriting and examiner jobs.

  17. Jobs4HR.com- Human Resources jobs.

  18. JobsInTheMoney.com- The largest finance and accounting job board by far.

  19. eFinancialCareers.com- Everything from accounting, hedge funds, banking and to investments and risk management.

  20. 6figurejobs.com- Focuses on management and executive management positions.

  21. Mac’s list (Portland, OR) – Marketing and non-profit jobs



#3: Use Company Job Boards


When you target the 15 to 20 employers you want to include on your job search list, be sure to sign up for job posting updates on their careers boards. 


However, once again you must back up your online applications with your networking strategy. I read recently that often employer applicant tracking systems (ATS) vary so widely in caliber and ability to search applicant keywords, that as many as 75% of submitted resumes may not even make it through the employer gateway. 


Figure 3 Nike's Career Search Page


The take away is that you cannot depend on the online application process alone to introduce you into target organizations. This is true whether you’re using the big boards, the niche boards of the company boards.


When you spend up to 20% of your job search time on line, make that time count.


You can start today pulling these three strategies into your job search. Make that time you spend online count by coupling it with a strong interpersonal, relationship building strategy. 


Leave a comment below and let me know what you are going to do differently this week in your job search. Then let me know what questions you have as you begin using this new strategy.



{#/pub/images/LeaMcLeod.jpg}Written by Lea McLeod, M.A., Founder of The Job Success Lab- Lea empowers employees to make more money, have more time, and find more meaning in their jobs. She spent most of her career leading and managing global teams, and most recently served as Director of a $1.3 B program at Hewlet-Packard. Now, she helps others discover the “success factors” for their careers. The Job Success Lab is a suite of tools that helps your employees become more effective at what they do. In working with clients, Lea discovered some interesting stuff. People struggle in dealing with their managers – Big Time. And, they struggle with the basics: effective communication, difficult conversations, advocating for themselves, and getting out of work on time by focusing on the most important work during the day. She helps employees like yours get more out of each day, and make each day better. Which makes managers better. And more successful. She holds a degree in Marketing from St. Bonaventure University, and a Master of Arts in Organization Development from Seattle University.


Do you have a question for Lea?  Post it in our Middle Manager Community, she will be happy to help: Ask An Expert 


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Here are some related articles you may be interested in:  

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