All Job hunting seems to be done online now – all of it! Whether that means Job boards like Times Online, CV databases such as Top Consultant or Monster, or through social networking on LinkedIn, its all in cyberspace!
Here at BLT we have had to move too – I hope you’ve seen the BLT TV on the front page of the website! 95% of our advertising has moved to the virtual space, just as the applications we receive have. On average we get 100 applications to the Management Consultancy team alone per day.
The ease with which applications can be made has changed the way that applicants apply to jobs, and this is not always in their favour. To help in this, we have come up with the Three Deadly Sins on online Job Hunting – I hope they help you with your search!
1) Applying to positions you are not qualified for.
The Web has streamlined how we communicate with each other. Postings are often seen on the Web that "may" be of interest, and candidates quickly apply to them without giving it more thought. I’m afraid that this is the path to failure. Most people who have this habit will then have a tendency to send a short email, along with a generic resume (or no resume at all!). These applications are easily identifiable, as there is rarely even a close match with the role applied for. This can frustrate the recruiter, and reduce your chances of being directed to more suitable roles. For these applicants the issue really is: If you are not interested in the position, why bother applying and, if you are indeed interested in the position, why don't you put more effort into it?
2) Lack of professionalism when applying online.
We are much more informal on the Web. Some people push this attitude too far however to the point of using the wrong "tone" when applying for a job. Keep in mind that a certain degree of formalism should remain. You probably have heard that when attending a job interview, better dress conservatively. At the end of the day, you will be hired for your competence, but you don't want your outfit to be a distraction! This is the same with job applications! You don't want anything to distract the recruiter/employer when reviewing your job application. Being too informal could have a nagging effect on some recruiters and might jeopardize your candidacy.
3) Failure to recognize competition.
The internet has levelled the playing field by allowing more job seekers to gain access to more job postings. Jobs posted online are accessible to anybody who has an internet connection. With this increased exposure comes increased competition. Yet, many job seekers fail to fully acknowledge this reality. When posting an opening online, an employer can be bombarded with as many as thousands of applications. Knowing that, you should ask yourself what you have done to stand out.
I hope these three pointers help. In conclusion, there are no shortcuts to finding a job. Time is of the essence. Choose which jobs are worth applying to carefully and spend as much time as needed to put all the odds on your side. You only need one job, so focus on tailoring each of your applications. It's not an odds game. Applying to many openings won't necessarily increase your odds if each of your applications don't make the cut.