Five Tips for a More Efficient Online Job Search

Tips on looking for jobs onlineFor job seekers, online job boards -- from the biggies like CareerBuilder and Monster to niche sites targeted at your specific profession -- sound appealing. They always have a ton of jobs available and you can respond to ads while sitting around in your pajamas. These sites are particularly appealing to younger workers who are used to the idea that the solution to nearly every problem can be found online. On the other hand, sending off endless resumes into the great corporate server farm in the sky can be a great way to boost your frustration and waste your time. So how can you use these job hunting sites more effectively? Bright Green Talent's Carolyn Mansfield, writing on the GreenBiz blog, has suggestions targeted at those looking for green jobs but applicable to mostly everyone:
  1. Don't spend hours daily perusing job boards. To stay up to date on what's being posted, set up a Google Reader account with RSS feeds from your favorite job boards. This way you can see at a glance when new jobs are posted without getting bogged down in visiting all of them.
  2. Install the Alexa ranking tool bar on your browser so you can see which job boards are actually getting a lot of visits.
  3. Use a job board aggregator. In your RSS feeds, set up a search within SimplyHired or Indeed with specific keywords you're interested and the locations you're open to -- the feed will do all the work for you of grabbing jobs from across the internet.
  4. Get well-integrated on social media sites so you can make direct connections with hiring managers. The best tool is LinkedIn, where you can see exactly who posted the job, who you know at the company, and can be much more strategic about your application.
  5. Get in front of people. The truth is you're much more likely to get a job through spending half an hour having coffee with someone each day than spending that time on job boards. Eighty percent of people are hired through having some sort of connection with the company.
Do you have any other tips for putting online job boards to good use without getting overwhelmed?

(Image of frustrated computer user by AdamSelwood, CC 2.0)