Online Job applications – best idea?

man searching for job listings online

Depends on your strategy.

Numbers game, or quality over quantity?


Ask yourself, do you want a job or do you want a career?, Craigslist, Monster, and dozens other online jobs listings websites (job boards) make it very convenient to search for job announcements and blast your resume. How effective is this strategy?

Here is a reality check…the competition is off the charts!  Why? Because EVERYBODY does it!

Does it work? That depends.

How do you feel about getting (VERY) limited response to your online job applications?

How do you feel about getting called for jobs that are not that interesting, but you applied anyway?

A better strategy for benefiting from the convenient online job boards is to use them for research. Find out who is advertising and what they say they want. Does it align with what you want? Do you have what they say they want? If it seems like a good match and captures your interest for a career opportunity, wait, don’t apply….yet.

Find out more -  everything you can learn about the company: the people, their products or services, their customers, their problems, their successes, AND, the contact information for key people in the organization who have recruiting influence.

Next, check your network to determine if there is a link. Do you know someone who knows someone at the organization who can give you a referral? If you do, fantastic. Get the referral and apply with your highly targeted resume. Make it easy for the hiring manager to confirm your qualifications match the job spec. Not only do you want to impress the hiring manager, you also want to validate your referral.

If you can’t get a referral, don’t give up. It just means you need a different strategy. Your best bet is to get your resume into the hands of the person who is the likely supervisor for the intended position. More research may be necessary but it’s not hard. You have options. Check the company website for staff listings, or try LinkedIn. Or, call the company directly and get the name of the hiring manager.

Apply as directly as possible. Your strategy is to get a leg up on the dozens or hundreds of online job applications submitted for every job post! Make sure your resume and cover letter are targeted to the job announcement and the company’s culture so the hiring manager gets you at “Hello”!

Job boards can be a useful tool, but don't waste all your time applying online. Make networking, referrals, and applying direct the top priorities in your job search campaign.


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