Online Job Searching 101

Make your job search more efficient using this advice

Searching for a job online can feel like a full-time job in itself. From scrolling through the job postings, to setting up email alerts, to actually submitting an application, you can spend your whole day staring at your computer!

Here are some great ways to make the process more efficient, so that you can spend your time as wisely as possible and get yourself closer to the career you want!

1. Quality, not quantity
Some people send out as many resumes as possible, with the hopes that sending out more will result in at least one interview. This typically isn’t the best approach. It’s better to target carefully the jobs where you think you have the best shot, and then work carefully on submitting a high quality application.

2. Use keywords
Since most online applications are screened through applicant tracking systems, it’s important to use keywords in your resume and cover letter. Simply look at the job posting, and make sure you are using the same job-related terminology that the posting uses. This could help your resume make it past the tracking system and into the hands of a hiring manager.

3. Sign up for automatic alerts – carefully
Most job search engines will give you the option of signing up for e-mail alerts, rather than logging in every day to search. This is a time-saving feature, but make sure you do it carefully. Think hard about your search terms so that you are sure to get postings that match your qualifications. You don’t want to waste time on job postings that aren’t a good fit.

4. Follow all instructions
When you do find a job posting that is a good match, be sure to follow all the instructions for applying. Skipping parts of the application or not following directions will be a red flag and could hurt your chances of getting called for an interview.

5. Customize your resume
While it’s tempting to send out the same resume for every job application, it may not get the best results. Instead, take time to look at your resume and see how it matches up with the job posting. You may need to tweak your resume and change the emphasis of certain areas in order for it to better correspond to the job posting.

6. Yes, write a cover letter
Writing cover letters is time consuming, but it is still considered a best practice. Unless the job application does not allow you any place to include a cover letter, you should include one. Here are some tips on writing cover letters.

7. Keep your online presence up-to-date and professional
If an employer is interested in your resume, the next thing they are likely to do is to look up your LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn profile can provide more information than a simple resume, so it is important to keep it updated. Here are some suggestions on making the most out of LinkedIn.

8. Target specific companies
Are there certain employers in your area where you would love to work? If so, do a separate search for their job postings, or go to the Careers section of their website. This kind of targeted search can save you the time of sifting through job ads that don’t interest you.

9. Spend LESS time online
This recommendation is one of the most important ones! The Internet is a terrific resource for job hunting, but believe it or not, it’s usually not the most effective. Networking through people you know and word-of-mouth is a great way to get connected to possible job openings. Try to get out of the house to attend networking events, social activities, volunteer opportunities, alumni events, and anything that can get you talking with others about your employment goals.

10. Don’t give up!
Finding a job can be a long process. And getting rejections can be very disheartening. Try to remember not to take it personally or to get discouraged! It’s just a matter of finding the best job fit for you.

We hope these tips help you navigate the world of online job searching and get the kind of results you are looking for. Best of luck!


The Branford Hall Career Institute offers career-focused training to help our students get on a career track that works for them. Find out more about our training in medical assisting, massage therapy, medical billing and coding, and more. Get info now.