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Job Hunting Tips: Strategies for Finding a Job Online

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The first port of call for any job seeker looking to get hired in 2010 or beyond should be the 10 best job hunting websites and job search engines. But by no means should you confine your search to general employment websites. In fact, there’s ample evidence that such sites may not be worthy of more than a bit role in your overall job search strategy. For starters, their ads aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. They may be fake, they may be outdated, or they may have been posted by an employment agency or some other third party that has more interest in people you know than in you. Additionally, job postings delivered in such a grand scale to such a large audience tend to attract tons of responses aside from your own, thus decreasing your chances of getting hired.

What then is the level of hiring that can be attributed to such mega job boards? Though the number is uncertain and clearly packed with variables, the vast majority of studies into the subject indicate that even today with so many employment websites ready to assist you (and often just as ready to greedily gobble your greenbacks), eighty to ninety percent or more of all hires come through other means – specifically, personal referrals and networking.

linkupBut don’t forget – nationwide/global employment sites aren’t the only job boards out there. You may have to hunt the Web a bit to find them, but there are plenty of regional and job-specific sites that may be far better alternatives for your own personal situation. Furthermore, don’t discount deep-delving services such as LinkUp (www.linkup.com), which go beyond the typical employment websites discussed above by scouring the Internet for “hidden” jobs posted only on corporate/private websites. You won’t find much junk here, because all the postings are taken directly from the sites of real companies. And as a bonus, it’s completely free.

However, as we alluded earlier, you shouldn’t put all your faith in employment website ads or the chance that your resume might somehow flash onto an employer’s screen at just the right moment. Just as it is in the world outside your computer, positions are generally filled before they get to the job posting stage, and are often awarded to those who’ve networked in advance with the right people. In short, there’s nothing quite like a reputable recommendation.

Nonetheless, in this connected age where searching the entire Internet, portions of the Internet, or simply a virtual stack of resumes has become routine for employers, there’s perhaps nothing quite as critical as the “keyword.” Keywords are search engine-friendly phrases (e.g. “sales manager,” “accountant,” “senior engineer” or other common terms) that employers might be looking for using a computerized query. Some estimates – and again we’re speaking in general terms here because there is no real consensus – put the percentage of resumes searched via job-specific keywords at upwards of ninety percent. In any case, whether you’re constructing a resume or building a personal or business profile, keywords are, well, key.

Google AdWordsUsing keywords so that they have the most impact is an inexact science, but a good place to begin is by checking out the job ads in your chosen field. Or, if you get a chance, check out the resumes of other applicants. What you’re looking for here is a pattern. If the same nouns or verbs or even adjectives appear over and over again and are both pertinent to the position you crave and/or descriptive of an ideal candidate or credential, simply copy and use them. If you’re stuck, try a keyword utility such as Google AdWords’ Keyword Tool to hit upon a winning phraseology.

Whatever your final decisions, leave nothing to chance. If, for example, you’re fortunate enough to wield a Bachelor of Science degree and have discovered that such as degree is a highly desirable skill in your intended occupation, do not assume the employer will search specifically for “bachelor of science” when they may search for “B.Sc.” Use both, and toss in a load of “B.S.” as well.

Likewise, make certain you’re dressed to impressed for any interviews which follow as a result, and that your verbal employment history and overall presentation is polished, simple and easy to follow. It should be immediately obvious where your strengths and abilities lie. Similarly, keep commentary only to subjects pertinent to the topic at-hand, be polite and professional when discussing past colleagues and jobs, and try to show how any past experience – even in other fields – is applicable to the position being applied for. Keep negativity and/or personal feelings towards past career events out of the equation as well: Remember, you’re simply there to objectively present the case why you’re the best man or woman for the job.

For more information and suggestions on job hunting tips, interviewing strategies or creating the perfect virtual resume, be sure take a gander at the employment websites we mentioned earlier. Many of them have a wealth of advice pertaining not just to this topic but many others as well. Also be sure to have a look at our guide to job social networking for a peek at how you can get connected with the right people who can make those doors swing open.

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Gordon Goble
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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