Landing a job through the Internet is often considered to be a game of chance… a little like resume roulette, if you will. But, let me tell you first hand that it does not have to be that way.
Many job seekers take the approach that applying for a job online is a numbers game. The more jobs they apply to the better their chances of landing one. Although this tactic does hold some weight there are certainly more strategic ways to approach it.
I will say that finding a job online is a little like playing the lottery in that you need to play to win. However, I would argue that the similarities with games of chance need to stop there.
In order to put the odds in your favor you need to understand that the majority of the time your resume application is not a direct link to a recruiter. More times than not, your resume lands in a database which is then accessed by recruiters who query it using keywords and search criteria. Resumes in the database are also often paired automatically to job postings using intelligent matching technologies offered by the applicant tracking systems in use by recruiters.
To maximize your effectiveness online you should adhere to these guidelines:
1. Only apply to the jobs that you believe you are qualified to do.
2. Don’t apply to a lot of jobs from the same employer as your resume will tend to end up in the same resume database and duplicates are often purged.
3. If you don’t see a relevant job from a specific employer, you should apply to a general email address which is often found on the employer’s corporate website.
4. Setup personalized email job alerts for instant notification of newly posted jobs.
5. Ensure that your resume contains relevant industry keywords (in context) that a recruiter may use in their search. Keyword density also counts, so repeat certain keywords where appropriate.
6. Keep your resume up to date.
7. Follow up with employers whenever possible (certainly harder to do when applying through a job board)
Albeit, this is an abridged list of guidelines, feel free to share additional tips from your success online.