Prepare yourself for the job searching process

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 11:57pm Thursday 26 March 2009

Finding a job used to be a very slow process, but this has drastically changed with the advent of online job boards and social networking sites. Rather than watch the Saturday morning paper shrink in size - you can supercharge your job search by setting up an account with a multitude of online job boards and have hundreds of leads delivered to you inbox daily. You can also create an online profiles on social networking sites, where you can increase the chances of being found (or finding a job).

The first step in conducting your online job search is preparing copies of your resumes and cover letters. The major online job boards allow you to create a free profile and upload 1 or more resumes and cover letters. Putting your documents online makes it super easy to distribute them to potential employers quickly.

Once you have put your resume in an electronic format, it's important to upload it to as many sites as possible. Most importantly, make your resume "searchable" or public to employers. This way when an employer runs a search for specific keywords, your resume will show up without even needing to apply for the job. It is best to upload your resume as a Word Document or PDF

Create a professional LinkedIn profile to connect with people in your network or look at creating other social media profiles. Note: I will cover social profiles in a later blog post.

The major online job sites offer a fantastic automated feature job alerts. You can create a free profile that will bring daily jobs to your email box. When you create a job alert, be sure to use as many relevant keywords as possible relating to your field. Don't just use the title of the position you are looking for, include synonyms and related words to increase the chances of finding leads you are interested in.

For example, if you are an accountant, don't just search for "accountant." Instead put together a large string of related keywords, such as: "accountant, accounting, general ledger, finance, financial reporting." You may end up seeing jobs that you are not qualified for, but it's better to have too many than too few.

It can get pretty cumbersome to manage the application process once you have multiple job applications and email alerts set up.

To keep yourself focused and organized, I suggest that you keep a spread sheet of the jobs you have applied for and people you have talked to. This way you can track the progress of your application against the role and people you have talked to.

This will give you a head start in the job search process.