Finding a job...Looking for work online

The internet and online job hunting has transformed the way we look for jobs, making our searches quicker, easier and often a lot wider. If you want to avoid checking through hundreds of vacancies, it is important to make your search as targeted as possible. But there’s an art to looking for work: check the deadline or closing date for applications.

Most sites are good at removing vacancies that have passed. But it is always a good idea to double-check the deadline. Don’t waste time sending an application that might not be considered. If you’re not sure, email the employer or phone the company to check that the vacancy still exists.

Think laterally

Opportunities can spring up in the least expected places. If you’re not finding the right vacancy for you, try browsing related categories and searching by alternative job titles, or widen the geographical area of your search.

Put yourself out there

Business networking sites are very popular among jobseekers who want to promote their skills. These sites allow you to develop relationships that can lead to finding unadvertised vacancies. A little bit of self-promotion can go a long way.

Don’t become a ‘spammer’

Online applications are quick and easy. You could find five vacancies and apply for them all on the same day. But don't send your CV to every company you come across. Employers look for applications that link your skills and abilities to the requirements of the job. Think quality, not quantity.

Read the terms and conditions

Many legitimate and genuine recruitment sites will keep your CV on a database, which employers can then search through when they have a vacancy. But, as with everything you do online, be sure that a site is secure and reputable before posting your personal details. Some sites have been known to publish CVs to the web in an effort to attract employers. Read the terms and conditions or the ‘about’ section of the site before you hit ‘subscribe’.

Take things offline

Online applications and registration forms differ from one site to the next. Always draft your applications offline – this way you can spell check your text. Saving an offline copy also means you are less at risk from the internet going down or your details not being saved correctly.

Don’t become invisible

Applying online can sometimes feel like you’re sending your details into a black hole. Don't be afraid to call or send an email asking if a recruiter has received your CV or application form.

Check your alerts

If the alerts you sign up to don’t deliver the vacancies you want, unsubscribe. Unwanted

job alerts can clog up your inbox and you risk overlooking any that could be useful. If you have signed up to alerts and they are not coming through, check your junk mail folder as your mail provider might be treating them as spam. Also remember that some sites don’t let you sign up using a free mail address like Yahoo! or Hotmail.


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