Make the Most of Your Online Job Search
Back in the day, job searches were confined to the kitchen table with a newspaper and a red pen in hand. Today, job searches still take place at the kitchen table, but the newspaper has been replaced with a laptop and a mouse. Today’s online job searches have made it a lot easier to discover job openings, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to get hired. Fortunately, as a healthcare professional, our career is one that continues to experience growth and job openings are found on a multitude of online job portals. However, one thing today’s job seekers should keep in mind is that if the job openings are easily found on online job sites, they are easily found by your competition as well. So, what can you do to get from applying, to an interview, to your hired? Let’s look at how successful online job searches still need some old-fashioned elbow grease.
Prepare for the job search. One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is taking the job search process for granted. Many will just log into one of the big online job portals, such as monster.com or indeed.com and start firing off resumes to every job posting that includes the word nurse or therapist, etc. This is a sure way to guarantee that your resume ends up in the wrong file, the circular one. Instead, take the time to create a resume template that you can easily tailor for different job positions. Employers tend to use keywords in their job postings that provide insight into what is important to the company. If you take the time to incorporate keywords into your skills and experiences, you have a much better chance of receiving a callback. And about that callback, get rid of the silly voicemail message that includes an inside joke that only you and your close friends understand. Instead, during the job search, record a professional sounding voicemail using a positive tone of voice. And remember to smile while you are recording the message, reinforcing the positivity in your voice.
Focus your job search. What is it that you are looking for, is it better hours, better pay, a different clinical setting? Decide what it is that fits who you are as a clinician and focus your search on those types of opportunities. While the large job search sites are good, they aren’t the only ones out there. Broaden your search by checking out other online job search portals. And focus even more by using the advanced search criteria to hone in on the jobs that match your skills and experience. Jobs are being posted on a variety of portals, even Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can also take your search right to the organizations that you might want to work for. Companies typically post openings right on their website, and others, such as Supplemental Health Care include job search engines on their website because of the numbers of opportunities they have available.
Expand your network. While the online searches are a wonderful tool allowing you to make your job search more efficient, it is equally as important to grow your own professional network. Attend networking events and cultivate relationships with other healthcare professionals. Another great tool for making connections with like-minded professionals is by actively using LinkedIn. Staying in touch with your classmates and colleagues will lead you to make new connections that may someday be the link you need to land your dream job.
Research the companies you apply to. It is one thing to simply fire off a generic resume to a job opening that you are qualified for, it is quite another when you take the time to learn more about your potential employer. As mentioned earlier, tailoring your resume to the potential employer gives you a step up on the hundreds of other applicants who don’t take the time to do a little research. Review the company news on LinkedIn, read any press releases posted on the company website and find news articles where the company is mentioned. Knowing more about a company’s strengths and weaknesses will allow you to craft your resume with the tangible benefits that you can bring to them. The more ways that you can demonstrate how you add value, the more likely you end up with an interview.
Know your Google search results before they do. Most employers will conduct a brief online search to see if there is anything about a candidate online that may shine the wrong light on their organization. If you have enjoyed posting late night updates during frat parties or nights on the town, or you have taken strong political views online, consider making your social media sites private during your job search. Conduct an internet search on yourself and see what shows up so you know where your weaknesses may be. You can also polish up your LinkedIn profile to display a positive, professional online image for employers to review. Another way to make yourself stand out is by participating in online discussions that are relevant to your experiences. Employers gain valuable insight into the type of employee you will be when they can see that you are invested and passionate about your chosen career.
Online job searches are easier today, but still not easy. A successful search takes a commitment to following the process and doing the homework that will set you apart from others in your field. As has always been the case, attention to detail and a sincere focus will get you better results, more interviews, and ultimately more opportunities to put yourself in front of hiring managers.
Did you find your job using online job searches? What tips do you have for your fellow healthcare professionals? Share your story in the comment section below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.