Author of "Your Journey from Fired to Hired"
Job Search

5 Reasons On-Line Job Searches Fail

So you’ve decided to follow the advice of country singer Johnny Paycheck and tell your boss to “Take this job and Shove it!”  While the song title is certainly a phrase that you may dream about uttering (or screaming!), at your boss it’s likely there are a few things you should consider first.

For starters, are you truly burnt out and ready for a change or are things simply a little rocky right now?  If you aren’t sure, check out “9 Signs it’s Time to Look for a New Job.”  But once you’ve decided it’s truly time to move on, realize that success in the job market doesn’t come easy.

In fact, you will have lots to consider.  Things like finding a job you love and the decision about whether to hire a professional resume writer will be top of mind.  But your decision tree doesn’t stop there.  Perhaps one of the quiet sleepers (like many of Paycheck’s other songs), will be the decision regarding the on-line job market.

While I do realize that it’s 2015 and this new thing called the internet is kind of catching on, focusing your entire job search strategy on digital job boards is a huge mistake.  But it’s also one that many job seekers make.  The reality is that much like the words to a song need a great melody to hit that number one spot on the charts, the online job market should be only a small piece of your approach.  Check out some reasons below:

  1. Tough to get noticed. Did you know that 427,000 new resumes are posted on the digital job site Monster each week? With numbers like that, it can be tough (if not impossible) to get the attention of a live recruiter for even a few minutes…much less an interview.  In fact many companies that leverage job boards use an automated system to make the first review/cut on candidates.  So if you’re planning to hit the online job market for all (or even part) of your job search strategy, it’s really important that you use keywords relevant to the position.
  2. It’s a number’s game. Sure there are literally millions of jobs posted online.  And admittedly, they are real jobs with real bosses and paychecks.  But research also shows for every position posted on the digital job boards, there are roughly 118 applicants.   While 118:1 odds would be great if you were playing the lottery, they aren’t so great in the job market.
  3. Networking still rules! I think we could all agree that there’s a stark difference between finding a job opportunity and securing a job.  And research shows that 80% of successful applicants still report finding their job through another channel like networking.  If you aren’t a networking junkie and are planning to enter the job market, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee on this one.  Bottom line:  it doesn’t take a statistical genius to realize that your time investment should match the potential results.  So in this scenario, you would spend at least 80% of your job search efforts focused on networking…not online job boards.
  4. Busy work doesn’t equal success. Look I get it, once you’ve decided to utter Paycheck’s famous song title, you’re ready to go NOW!  And it feels like the digital market makes sense.  Within just a few minutes it’s likely you can find jobs that appear to be the perfect solution.  However, when you compare the time spent to locate and apply to on line jobs with the limited opportunities for success, you have to avoid the illusion of productivity!   Just realize that every minute spent in front of your computer (or phone) screen keeps you from making a contact with a better chance for success….insert networking here!
  5. No news is NOT good news. I understand that no one (including me!) likes rejection.  But one of the inherent dangers with the online market is that you often get no response at all.  In theory, you’ve avoided the dreaded rejection letter.  So that’s not all bad.  However, in reality rejection serves as closure and urges us to move on.  Without the rejection, many applicants waste precious time waiting to “hear back” from that perfect online job.

So while it may be time to tell your boss to, “take this job and shove it,” just don’t make the mistake of focusing your entire job search effort in front of a computer.  Networking is still the most important tool in your job search strategy.  For more information on networking and other job search strategies, check out my latest book, "Your Journey from Fired to Hired."

Have you used digital job boards to become the #1 candidate…if so I’d love to hear from you!

Article written by:

Kathi Miller-Miller is a sought after career specialist and author of “Your Journey from Fired to Hired.” Kathi draws on her 25+ years of success (and failures!) to offer her readers advice on topics ranging from dealing with a boss that drives you crazy to managing millennials...all in a light-hearted and easy to read style.

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