Looking for a job is not easy. You might be highly qualified and experienced, but just getting your foot in the door to have your potential noticed can be a real struggle. It’s especially hard when you’re looking for a job online. As we’ve alluded to many times before, the online job search is not an ideal method of finding employment, but in some cases, it is necessary to go down this path instead of some of the more personal job searches. However, selling yourself to an employer online is a much different animal than what you might be used to, so to ensure you are putting your best foot forward, here are some tips to help with your online job hunt.
Make your qualifications obvious.
When applying for a job online, you need to be aware that you will be one of likely hundreds of faceless applicants. Employers who use this method are looking for the most expedient way to go through the applications and find an employee that will be suited for the position. Therefore, you do not have the luxury showing them who you are, you need only show them why you’re right for the position. In most cases, the applications are only scanned, not read, looking for the key words that suggest the applicant is suited for the job. Study the job description thoroughly and make your application simply and clearly state that you are qualified. Don’t lie or embellish, just make sure the qualities they are looking for are easy to spot. You’ll have to save the “getting to know you” stage for the interview, but for now, just let them know you’re right for the job.
Adapt your resume accordingly.
For many boomers professionals, they’ve accrued a great amount of experience over their years in the workforce. While this experience is certainly something to be proud of, sometimes that pride can hamper you job search success. Take your resume for example; a resume is meant to be a concise explainer for why you are qualified for this particular job. It is not a list of accomplishments or why you are qualified for a number of jobs. A resume should never be stagnant, it should always be changing to suit whichever position you are applying for. Look at the skills and knowledge that are valuable for this particular position, then highlight those aspects of your work experience. And as always, if you lack certain valuable skills, go out and make them a part of your repertoire.
Use social media to your advantage.
It’s been talked about quite often how boomers don’t understand social media. While you could point to many examples of how that is simply not true, one area where they do seem to fall behind is with using social media for job search purposes. There is a lasting stigma among this generation that social media is only a distraction or hurdles for your professional ambitions, but the opposite is true. It is almost a guarantee that if you are seriously being considered for a job, they will do a search for your social media activities. Look at this as an opportunity to share more about yourself in the very impersonal online job search process. Go on the social media platforms and use them to express your opinions, passions and interests. And be warned, no social media presence is a big red flag for employers these days.
Make more personal connections.
While the application process for online jobs can be frustratingly impersonal, that doesn’t mean you can’t make personal connections on your own. You want to be able to establish some communication with the job you want beyond sending a resume along to a recruiter. Reach out to manager and people within the organization. Introduce yourself and open up a dialogue with them. This isn’t guaranteed to have the results you want but it does go a long way in establishing your passion for the position. It’s safe to say that most employers would admire a move like this rather than be annoyed by it, and those who are annoyed might not be the type of employers you want to work for.
Think outside the box.
Above all else, you want to be able to set yourself apart from the crowd as the ideal person to fill this position, and sometimes that requires thinking outside the box. Now, this can be a tricky concept to get right. You want to stand-out, but you still need to stick to the appropriate process the employers have laid out for hiring. You can’t just dismiss the rules and go your own way, that’s not likely to impress too many people. Instead, do your homework, research the company and be able to come at them with ideas and opinions that show you can take this position and hit the ground running.
One of the most important aspects of applying for a job that so many people neglect is the follow-up. For most employers, if they interview someone who doesn’t follow up and just indicate they care about getting this job, they aren’t too enthusiastic about hiring that person. When applying online, the impersonal nature can make following up seem redundant, but do so any way. Worse case scenario, you’ve wasted a couple minutes writing an email. Best case scenario, you’ve shown them you want this job.