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How to make Internet job boards work for you

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By Eve Nicholas
Herald Columnist
Everyone knows that the job market is overflowing with candidates. Employers receive hundreds of applicants for each position. This may sound daunting to some job hunters, but if you think about the search methods used by your so-called competition, it's easy to stand out from the crowd.
These days, most job seekers spend their time trolling the Internet for job postings. They flip through ads, click a few buttons and submit resumes to countless employers. No big deal.
Their laziness may be problematic for their careers (very few employers respond to indiscriminate resume slinging), but it's great for you. If you adopt a slightly more assertive approach, you immediately knock them out of the game.
How? By changing your vision of Internet job boards. Stop believing the myth that job sites are expansive, interactive bulletin boards that streamline the process of locating and applying for positions. Try to recognize them for what they are: powerful research tools that help you conduct a successful job search somewhere else.
In my opinion, online job boards should be treated more like business conferences than bulletin boards. You discover new facts. Delve into new fields. And then, rather than tacking up your resume for the entire world to see (and probably ignore), you leave the conference and use the newly acquired information to advance your career.
From now on, I suggest that you use Internet resources to gather intelligence. Learn about industries, companies, upcoming projects and business challenges. Then, contact employers directly with a personalized e-mail message and targeted resume. Before you reach out, call the organization to ask for the manager's name. Spell it correctly in your correspondence. Follow up. And pat yourself on the back for beating out masses of less-determined job seekers.
But, wait. You aren't finished yet. Now that you have outshined the Internet drifters, it's time to face your real competition: The strategic, savvy professionals who took initiative, researched opportunities, sent customized letters and e-mails to the decision makers at local companies. Just like you did.
How do you stay ahead of the pack? Take my advice: Stop looking like a job hunter. From now on, replace the words "I need a job" with "Let me tell you what I can do for your business." And be prepared to back up your statement with examples.
Why will this tactic work? Because job seekers are selfish individuals. You make choices to benefit your career and feed your bank account. Of course, this kind of selfishness is a good thing. It allows you to create a happy, balanced life. Just remember that companies are even more self-centered than you are. And when it comes to doling out job offers, they hold all the cards.
Employers are always focused on the bottom line. They want affordable workers who will make (or save) big bucks for the organization. They interview candidates. Find the right personality. Pinpoint the best return on investment and offer this person the job.
If you want to be this person -- the one who lands the job offer -- give up your selfish job seeker persona. You're not a job hunter anymore. You're a moneymaker. A fixer. Show employers how you will improve the business and you'll open your own doors.
Contact Eve at
Story tags » JobsInternet & CloudEmployersEmployment



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