How to Successfully use Online Job Portals to Land that Dream Job
There’s no denying that online job portals have made life easier for job seekers. You have 24/7 access to vacancies across industries, functions, levels and geographies at the click of a button. Advanced search capabilities make it easier to find, browse and narrow in on relevant vacancies. However searching for jobs online can also be an extremely frustrating process. Once a vacancy is posted online, thousands of job seekers see the same ad and apply for the same vacancy. Your profile gets lost in the crowd. You rarely hear back from the recruiter or find out about the status of the application. So how do you effectively use online job portals to land that dream job? We share some tips below:
Choose job sites carefully - Most people start their job search with the bigwig job portals. These sites probably offer the widest range of job postings. While these are definitely important, understand that the competition is extremely stiff on these sites. Your profile will likely get lost amongst the lakhs of other profiles on the sites. So where do you go?
Consider going niche - One way to narrow in on job vacancies is to go to specialized sites created specifically for your talent segment. These days there are several job sites catering to niche segments. These segments could be based on the industry (Tech Gig for IT industry, Indian Pharma Jobs for Pharma industry etc.), company size (AngelList and DreamStarts for startups), your seniority (FreshersWorld for freshers, Top Talent for senior positions etc.), your work preferences (Do Parttime for part time jobs) etc. You can also zero in on your target companies and apply directly on their websites.
Think SEO - Recruiters are inundated with thousands of resumes for every vacancy they post online and often depend on the presence of relevant keywords in the resume to shortlist candidates. Spend some time going through the job descriptions of your targeted vacancies. Also look at LinkedIn profiles of professionals already in these companies / roles. Try to identify common themes and language used for detailing skillsets, responsibilities, qualifications and achievements and incorporate these in your resume.
Leverage the Power of Multiple Profiles - Different jobs require you to position yourself differently. Some job sites offer the flexibility to create multiple profiles within the same account so that you can choose which profile you wish to share while applying for a specific position. Use this powerful feature if you do not want to be too restrictive in your job search to begin with.
Customize your Applications - Most job sites allow you to submit a cover letter along with your application. A well written cover letter, tailored to your target organization and role shows that you are serious about the position.
Stay on top of your search - Save your searches and set up email / SMS alerts to be notified as soon as a relevant vacancy is posted. Remember that recruiters are more likely to notice and spend time on the early-bird applications.
Track and Review Progress - Some job portals will notify you when there has been a change in your application status i.e. viewed, shortlisted, declined etc. Keep track of these and review your job search progress periodically. Some sites have also started offering a Follow-Up feature, whereby the site itself will send a reminder mail to the recruiter asking for a status update on your application. Typically this is a paid feature so we suggest you use it only for positions where you think you are a good fit but haven’t received a response.
Go offline - Remember that job portals are not your only resource for landing a job. There is no substitute for a strong network, employee referral applications and plain old face-to-face interactions. Avoid over-reliance on search sites. A good rule of thumb is to spend about 50% of your job search time online and the other 50% reaching out to family, friends and old colleagues, attending industry events, participating in alumni groups and building a strong, reliable network.