Bradford Agry of CareerTeam Partners is presenting our upcoming webinar, Using The Internet Strategically During Your Job Search. Brad is a founding principal of CareerTeam Partners, a New York City career management consulting firm. A seasoned career coach, he has worked for over 15 years with individuals in a number of industries helping them both assess and actualize career paths. Brad offers us some tips on how to organize your day-to-day job search on the Internet. Stay tuned for the second part and register for the webinar.
The internet is a valuable tool which can help lead you to new employment but it is not the only method. Too often, we are lulled into the false sense of security that this is the “magic pill” we take without ever leaving our homes that will get us a new job. Certainly, it is a valuable means to identify opportunities but by no means a “one-stop” solution. So how do we know when and when not to use the internet? Below are some key questions to ask yourself as you organize your day-to-day search:
How can I determine if using job boards will bring me closer to an actual job?
Certainly job boards are valuable places to visit and apply for jobs. If the position is similar to what you have been doing most recently and you directly meet the stated specs and level, feel free to apply. Remember, though, if you have related experience but not exactly the qualifications listed, you risk being rejected. Many companies screen initially using a non-human filter that searches for only key words so you may never even get to a decision-maker to pitch your case. Also, evaluate the time required to fill out online applications. If it is a company you are seriously interested in, move forward but always consider time and effort expended versus chances of getting an interview. Remember this is about working smart not hard!
How can I use the internet and networking together effectively?
Use the internet as a research tool to see who among your target companies is hiring and for which functions. Then, figure out a way to network in through your various universes of connections. I like to think of this two-pronged approach as coming in through both the “front” and “back” doors. There is certainly nothing wrong with applying for jobs on line and/or registering in a company’s talent database. It makes more sense, though, to also find a champion who can refer you in for some structured informational interviews and give you a “leg up” over the general pool of applicants.
How can I use the internet to properly prepare for a formal interview?
Use search engines selectively to gather key information about your target company. You will, of course, want to study relevant parts of their corporate website and check online periodicals that summarize key products, competitors and newsworthy items about their track records in their specific industry. This tool is also helpful to research biographies and backgrounds of key people you will be interviewing with. Pay attention, though, to when you really have enough information and when you may have crossed the line into the time-eating activity of crawling endlessly to irrelevant secondary links.
To be continued…