In today’s world, people turn to the internet to answer any and every conceivable question. They use it to communicate, to find directions, to read the news, and to learn how to prepare a meal. The internet, it would seem, has an answer to everything. Moreover, it is easy to conclude that online resources are always the most helpful, accessible, and expedient ones out there.
There are few exceptions to this supposition, one of which comes in the realm of the job search. With unemployment high, the economy still stagnant, and few companies hiring, finding a job has become an increasingly frustrating and difficult experience for many. And the internet offers few solutions: sending out emails, using services like monster.com, or trying to find job postings on corporate websites often feels like a hopeful endeavor, as though everything you send out is going into the black hole of cyberspace. No matter what job you seek, whether it be construction worker or pharmacy technician, business consultant or computer programmers, people are finding it more beneficial to eschew the internet and seek out employment through more traditional channels: phone calls, job fairs, and personal requests from friends.
While I would agree that traditional methods offer higher success rates than web-based ones, the internet should still be an important resource in your job search. But it is best used, I believe, in a way that can facilitate the following traditional approaches:
In good times and in bad, people often find jobs by using connections and networking. This is a good approach to take, if possible, and it can be done even in the vast and often impersonal online world. The best ways to do this is by searching out old friends, colleagues, and acquaintances on Facebook or LinkedIn who may be able to help you. Once found, it may be better to communicate with this person by telephone than by email. Still, the internet is a valuable resource for helping make that initial connection possible.
Finding the right kind of job fairs – one that has employers you’d like to work for and isn’t overflowing with people – can be instrumental in helping to secure an interview. But how to find this job fair? Try an online search. More specifically, look on the career sites of schools and universities in your area. These fairs are likely to draw top-notch employers and still manage to fly under the radar. Best of all, they are frequently open to the public.
When you’re unemployed and frustrated, talking with your friends or family members may be embarrassing, unhelpful, or just tedious after a while. The internet can replace these people — for this purpose at least — by providing a wealth of forums on which all these issues can be discussed. Not only is a forum a good place to vent, but it can also provide you valuable search tips.
As you can see, internet resources can be a useful means to an end when searching for a job. While your hundreds of resumes may easily get lost in cyberspace, being able to connect with someone online – whether a friend, recruiter, or employer – can help facilitate that search in an expedient and meaningful way.