Online Job Search: Traps to Avoid

1. Don’t Post Everywhere

Today there are tens of thousands of job and career sites online, so many you can spend days just posting your resume to them if you choose. But all experts agree: this is a big waste of your time. Be selective. Choose only a few sites that match your specific background and needs. Yes, it’s okay, in fact a good idea, to post to a couple heavy-hitters like Monster.com and Dice.com. But your main focus should be on specialized sites that cater to your particular field or occupation, whether it’s accounting or public relations or marine biology. You can find these types of specialized resources on RileyGuide.com.

2. Don’t Get Fired

Don’t post your resume where your present employer can see it unless you don’t care if she knows you’re job hunting. Otherwise, post anonymously.

3. Don’t Post a Generic Resume

Tailor your resume to each job or job category you apply for. What a pain. But otherwise you’ll probably get beat out by other candidates who do take the time to do this. Remember the first step at most companies is for a HR person to screen candidates for openings. Like as not, that HR person is looking for keywords and specific skills in the online resumes she scans. Make sure yours have the right words.

4. Don’t Surf Job Sites Aimlessly

You can get lost in Monster.com. Don’t. And the same goes for many other mega-sites. If you are going to job search online, do it selectively. Use your resume to find keywords pertaining to your background. Search the sites on keywords or specific skills. Don’t waste your time reading job descriptions that don’t pertain to you. And never apply for a job you’re not totally qualified for. Do you think, “Oh, they’ll overlook the fact I have an M.A. instead of an M.B.A.”? Nope. They won’t.

5. Don’t Drink Beer

Well that’s not completely accurate. I mean don’t post pictures of yourself drinking beer with a lampshade on your head on Facebook. Nowadays many HR people routinely run social networking searches before calling a candidate in for an interview. You know that photo of yourself modeling a bikini (and you’re a guy), well, you can delete that before you start your online job search.

6. Don’t Get Scammed

“Earn $500 a day as a mystery shopper,” “Click on web links and make $4,000 a month.” Such no-work dream jobs seem to be everywhere now. You can just ignore them all because they will cost you money, and you will not make a penny yourself. That, together with death and taxes, is absolutely certain.

7. Don’t Be Ignorant

Never appear at a job interview ignorant of the company that’s interviewing you. Most candidates do but you shouldn’t be one of them. It’s a huge mistake, easily avoidable. Nowadays the Internet makes it so easy to learn a lot about practically any company very quickly. Try Wikipedia.com, Hoovers.com, or Vault.com, for starters. Heck, just try Google.com. In any of these you’ll find a wealth of information about nearly any substantial company, information you can pick up in a matter of minutes. So even if you’re having only a phone interview, be sure to do some online research beforehand – and then when the inevitable “Why do you want to work for us?” question comes up you’ll be ready. Best of luck with your online job search!

By Joseph L Ryan . For more tips on how to get an edge on the competition in online job search, visit http://websearchguides.com/online_job_searching.htm.

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