Times have changed. The new paradigm of job hunting aptly reveals this truth.
Not that I was a fan of “beating the streets” but it seems so impersonal to search for a job from behind my computer. There’s no such thing as an application anymore, but there is an electronic application process.
I’ve discovered that searching online for jobs could be never-ending. The ability to refine searches only eliminates all possibilities from view. Thus, a wider range must be left in place offering hundreds of hits on every job search site. And these sites rival the number of open positions they advertise.
I have a profile on LinkedIn. It isn’t very exciting, but I plan to spend some time sprucing it up now that I’m officially finished with college.
Many of the jobs I apply for use my LinkedIn profile to fill in their online application. In fact, I applied for a technical writing job with Kelly Services and they did just that, even though I found the job opportunity on another job search website.
It seems to me that learning the appropriate key words to use in your profile is essential. I don’t claim to know what these are or that I’ve gotten them in place. I do know that using job descriptions that are posted online can help you identify these words.
Online Application Process
The ease of applying for positions online, when compared with the old-fashioned completion of a double-sided job application, amazes me.
Most of the sites I’ve applied to use either my resume (after I upload it) or my LinkedIn profile to auto complete most of the form. The worst thing about this process is that some things aren’t converted or are put in the wrong place.
For example, a job I recently applied for didn’t have the correct dates and my job titles got matched to the incorrect employers. It was simple to fix these errors, but if I hadn’t reviewed the form carefully, I might have missed them.
There’s always a review page and then the opportunity to return to the earlier pages and correct information. However, the process generally requires clicking through every page, so it isn’t a quick fix.
- Information overload: As I mentioned, sometimes there are just too many positions to wade through. A better system for narrowing results needs to be invented. When I applied on the Kaiser Permanente site, they had a streamlined process for narrowing the prospective jobs. Employment advertisers should mimic this system.
- Lack of specificity: Based on certain keywords, a plethora of jobs will be displayed. For example, if I have “management” in a search field, the variety of the postings is vast. Again, some websites do a better job of narrowing the search, but not all of them. Employment advertisers should have two or three levels for even a basic search. For example: I could choose “management” and then “publishing” and then “editorial” and be assured that only editorial jobs would be displayed.
- Sterility: What is the office environment like? What sort of commute will it entail? There’s no way to be informed about these sort of questions with the online job search. What a waste to head to an interview only to discover the commute would be brutal or the staff seems unhappy and unfriendly.
I think the biggest shortfall of this new, expedited, technologically advanced method of applying for jobs is the lack of personal interaction.
Appearances aren’t everything. Appearances can be deceiving. Unfortunately, many times the external qualities of an employee are quite important. For example, in a customer service industry where this person will interact with stakeholders face-to-face, employers want that “face” to represent their company accurately and positively.
Any experiences with this new method of job hunting you’d like to add? I’d love for you to share your wisdom with me (since I’m a newbie).