The Internet For Jobseekers

The net is the world?s biggest advertising medium. It is also cluttered, and job sites vary from useful to impossible. The problem is the amount of information, some of which is useful, and most of which isn't. The convenience is good, you can lodge any number of applications using forms. Finding what you want is another thing.

BASICS

Important: Stay organized. Finding what you need when you need it saves time and a lot of frustration. You can do that if you plan a bit in advance:

Bookmarks

Check out sites systematically. Find the ones that work and give you the information you want. Create a folder for them.

Sites

Figure out the best way to search your preferred sites, and use that as a routine. You can set up your search patterns to taste, but you really can do a lot of searching in a relatively short period of time. Remember to save searches. Sign up for job alerts, but make sure they're giving you something useful. Ditch them if not.

Advertisements

Make sure you get the contacts and other details right for the job. Cut and paste email addresses, etc, and keep those where you can get at them, like on a Word file.

Note: you can't always bookmark job ads. They turn over a lot of ads on those sites, and some expire, and just won't be there when you come back to them.

Recruitment Agencies

If you're answering a recruitment agency, make a note of the agency. If it doesn't deliver, or the service is lousy, you've at least found one place not to look. That does matter, because you can get lost in their systems. It's not worth dealing with inefficient agencies.

Scams

There?s a whole article on Cvtips about scams, here.

Job ad searches

Take the time, learn how to use site search systems. Just learning to exclude words from a search by using something like ''customer service not sales'' will save hours of your time.

Learn what doesn't work. Anything which is costing you time needs to be avoided. Searches can be aggravating enough without using words or terms which give too many results, or wrong results.

Some tips:

  • Search locations as keywords. A suburb name will usually find something.
  • Search a skill, not just an ad title.
  • Don't search things like ''Accounts'' without an additional qualifier.
  • Try to avoid having to repeat searches. Most sites allow you to save your searches, and it really does help if you do.
  • Be objective when using words for searches. If you mean ''creative art'', use that as a search. Stick close to your search targets.

Forms

Forms and questions are unavoidable. Use Autofill if you've got it, but pay attention to the warning screen. Information sent over the net has its risks, so check out the form for what information you're being asked to provide.

(Do not, ever, send bank account information over the net. Sign up for Paypal, get some basic protection. Your bank is more likely to be supportive if you're not sending your account details all over the world, too.)

When filling in forms you will be very un-surprised to note that a lot of the information and questions are very similar. Take copies of your responses to online questionnaires. They do save time, and give you a record of what you've sent to the employer.

Employer ''Careers'' pages

Big employers often do their own vacancies sections. It saves them money, and they get a pool of applicants. It is worth checking out the government and major corporate websites for these pages. You can register with them, just sending a cover letter and CV, so it's a pretty painless process. They usually only require basic information.

Remember to make a folder for them, too. Bookmarks can get messy in a hurry.

Passwords

Being on multiple sites means the password jungle comes with the territory. You can find yourself using any number of the things, and it's advisable to be systematic. Using the same passwords for everything definitely isn't recommended, but you could use family members for job ad sites, pets for employer career pages, etc.

Links

Every so often you?ll come across a site with a lot of useful links on it. These are actually relatively rare, and deserve to be bookmarked. Again, a sub folder will probably do the job.

Folders

Put together folders in your bookmarks and email.

Keep it simple:

Internet Main folder- ''Jobs''

Subfolders

(a) ''Job sites''
(b) ''Employers sites''
(c) ''Useful links''

Email Main folder should be the same, including a folder for replies and receipts for applications. These can get big, so manage them however is best for you.

IRRITATIONS

Spam can come back from some job ads, particularly the ''Become a Billionaire In The Next Week Selling Snake Oil'' variety. If you've got Yahoo or other anti-spam software, use it. If you don't want it, mark it as spam. If you complain to the big search engines, someone will listen, because it's a problem for them to. Don't just put up with it. It really isn't worth it.

Unsolicited contacts

These should be blocked. Do not open emails from unknown sources. What claims to be a job out of the blue almost certainly isn't. Be careful opening attachments, and make sure your anti-virus is up to date and working.

BE SELECTIVE

Some sites aren't for some people. Some don't make it easy for their users, either. Forms can be problems, and the whole process of just searching for a job can become that much more aggravating. Service from some sites is appalling. They never reply to contacts, or produce a large letter telling you why they're going to do nothing about your complaints. Some generate admail, popups, and other nuisances. They're as useless as they look.

Avoid them as much as possible. Use only sites where the process is straightforward. Complexity looks good, but simpler is usually better.

You'll notice Cvtips isn't designed like a maze.