It’s true, the internet has opened new doors for finding jobs and careers, including full time and part time positions. Job search is incredibly easy compared to how it used to be, but that doesn’t mean securing a job is easier, as the competition has also increased. I can still remember when the only 3 methods for finding job opportunities were through publications, bricks and mortar agencies, and word by mouth. However, the later is still by far the best way to secure a position as it has the least competition, which is always a good thing.

The internet has really simplified our world these days and what used to take us countless hours, days, or even weeks to do, can now be achieved faster than a speeding bullet. This includes all kinds of stuff from shopping, researching, banking, bookings, and of course, jobs. With the tap of a few keys, it’s now possible to do a quick or detailed search on a website for all manner of work, in all kinds of places whether that be local, regional, national, or overseas.

But new research is coming out to suggest that job websites are becoming the victim of their own success. It use to be the case that an applicant would simply post his or her resume to a popular job website such as HotJobs.com then sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Well, if that’s how it used to be, it’s no longer the case. The main reason is because you are just one of tens or even hundreds of thousands of other hopefuls posting their resume to the same place. What employer would want to wade through so much material as they attempted to create a shortlist of potentials? The answer is practically none. So, there’s a good chance your carefully drafted resume and cover letter(s) could get lost in cyberspace forever.

The suggestion, therefore, is to seek out smaller less hi-profile job websites that specialize in the type of work you may be interested in. Or even advertise yourself as someone who is looking for work in many of the online free classified ads. One Chinese friend of mine who is a qualified teacher of the Cantonese language advertised her services on a Real Estate website in Hong Kong. As a result she gets on average 3 enquiries a day from local expats and at the time of writing has more work than she can cope with as a freelance tutor.

Another downside to chasing positions advertised on job websites is that as many as 75% have been recorded as generic postings from employment agencies. What this means is that they are not actual job openings but tasters as to what could be available. This forces the job seeker to contact the agency who may then encourage them to register with them. This is in the agencies best interest as they obviously take commissions from finding suitable employees for employers. The latest stats I’ve been able to retrieve showed that only 7-8% of job hunters actually found gainful employment directly through job websites.

So, although the internet really is a useful tool for finding employment, the secret is to think out of the box. Use it to locate companies. This way you can do a little research on them prior to submitting your application directly from their websites. Get networking and join a jobs forum where you will get up to the minute postings on real positions as they arrive. Get to know people whether it’s in the virtual world or the real, but preferably both. That old adage, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, is as strong today as it’s always been.

Remember to track your submission. Keep a spreadsheet of where you have applied to and the date. Opportunity will only knock if it knows who you are and where you are. Once you develop your own step by step procedure for finding and applying for jobs on the internet, simply rinse and repeat your methods and you’ll have them queuing up to offer you employment in no time at all.

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