In a recent Monster.com homepage poll, we asked visitors, “Which job-search tactic are you least confident about?”
And just more than half — 51 percent — said that the hardest part was “finding jobs to apply for.” Here are the complete results:
- Crafting an effective resume: 18 percent
- Performing well in an interview: 15 percent
- Face-to-face networking: 8 percent
- Online networking: 8 percent
- Finding jobs to apply for: 51 percent
Finding jobs to apply for can be difficult, but I want to try to ease your minds: When it comes to applying for jobs, you should be thinking quality, not quantity. The “spray and pray” method of applying for jobs — sending your resume far and wide, and hoping for a hit — doesn’t work anymore (if it ever did). Instead, you need to be applying for the right jobs, in the right way.
If you’re someone who feels unsure about where to find jobs to apply for, here are some tips to make sure that nothing is slipping by unnoticed:
First, use Monster.com wisely.
Post a compete resume and profile, so employers can find you when they have openings that you’re a good match for (many Monster customers use our state-of-the-art semantic resume search to locate candidates before — or instead of — posting an ad). Also use Monster.com’s Advanced Search features to find jobs that suit your qualifications. It’s important to try several searches using different criteria (no person is defined solely by one set).
Then save your searches as an alert.
This turns Monster.com into a personal job finder that emails new jobs to you on a schedule you select — thereby freeing up your time to look for jobs in the other places they might be hiding. But revisit Monster.com regularly to update your resume and profile when you have new things to add, or when something becomes irrelevant and needs to be removed).
(For a few ideas on keeping your profiles current, read “Five Ways to Rejuvenate Your Resume.”)
Look at your networking efforts as “finding jobs to apply for.”
According to this poll, a lot of people feel relatively confident about their networking abilities. And that’s great news, because networking — that is, meeting new people and maintaining relationships you already have — means uncovering jobs to apply for. You may have heard people talk about the “hidden job market” — they’re talking about jobs that aren’t posted (or that are not posted yet). Having a strong network will make sure you hear about these jobs.
Be proactive, and create your own opportunities.
I think that a mistake some job seekers make is waiting for companies to post jobs. You can take the reins of your job search! A first proactive step is making a target list of companies and roles that you want. Even if these companies don’t have opportunities posted, this list will help you focus your research and networking activities (such as informational interviews).
Creating your own opportunities can then mean seeking out internships, contract or short-term opportunities at target companies, and volunteer opportunities that can serve as resume builders (and help you add new contacts to your network) — just for example.
What job-search tactic are you least confident about? Or do you have any ideas for Monster.com polls? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.