Mastering the web job search

Recommendations, the dailies and TV adverts are a few ways trough which we get jobs. However, how competent are your skills when it comes to navigating websites while you’re looking for suitable vacancies? Here is how you can get the most out of job sites.

Have a job search plan

Look at your daily schedule and find windows of time to job hunt. To maximise your time on the websites, break the process down further. Say, you can use Mondays to job hunt, and then set aside an hour or so on Wednesdays to review your CV and tailor it to specific positions that you’re applying for. Finally, you can use the other days of the week for follow-ups.

Use the sites sparingly

You may frown upon this, but this might be the best advice you’ll get as you job hunt. Don’t rely solely on websites. Use them as sources of information and spend most of your time networking. The job market is shifting and employers are relying more on recommendations to find the best candidates for their organisations. Therefore, use at least 90 per cent of your time to grow your contact list and build a strong network, and the remaining 10 per cent on the job sites.

Looking for work is a job in itself; make good use of the time that you’ve set aside. If possible, hole yourself up in a quiet room to avoid any distractions as you go through the sites.

Familiarise yourself with the top job sites in your area – that is if you’re looking for a job locally. As of 2018, BrighterMonday, LinkedIn, Career Point Kenya, OLX Jobs, Kenyan Career, Job Web Kenya and MyJobMag are some of the top sites to look into.

Filters will save you time by narrowing down your hunt.  Take advantage of these by focusing your job search on the field, salary range, location (county instead of region), experience and education.

CV should clearly tell your career story

Therefore, other than the well-written resume, plug in your certificates, if you have advanced degrees which you think will be assets in your field. These will put you head and shoulders above the rest of the applicants.  As part of self-branding, include links to websites that highlight your work, too.

Set up alerts

Once you get the hang of using websites, keep up the momentum with the alerts. Once-a-day emails will keep you updated on new job listings as soon as they go online. 

Don’t be all over the place

If you have 15 job sites, don’t use all of them… to save your sanity.  Keep it simple. Many of these sites post the same jobs, hence identify and sign up for the best three, at least – this will boost your chances of landing an interview.

Ensure that the sites are legitimate. Verify the name, address and phone numbers.  Steer clear of sites that don’t have a Privacy Policy, which you should read before signing up. The policy should disclose the information that the site collects and what they do with it.

Once you’ve registered, don’t depend on auto-apply. Yes, it is easier, but this method is likely not going to get you interviews. Customise your CV to every vacancy that you apply for.

If you’re a LinkedIn user, keep your profile up to date

Be comprehensive about your objectives and leave nothing to chance when you talk about your skills. Highlight recent experiences and update your headline, which should stand out and state, clearly, what you do and the position you’re looking for.

Sites such as BrighterMonday and LinkedIn ask about your availability. If you’re able to do so, let potential employers know how soon you’ll be able to fill the position if you get the job.

As you build your network, look at companies that you’re interested in and follow them if they are on sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. This will help you stay in the know about the organisations’ milestones and news on any vacancies when they become available. 

Use Google Sheet to organise your call backs as they come – this will save you a lot of time. You can avoid applying for the same job twice by keeping track of the ones you’ve applied for.

Use keywords

Increasingly, recruiters are now using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to sieve through CVs. This means that more than 50 percent of the CVs and applications sent will be rejected by Résumé Robots before they even reach the human resources manager’s desk.  The ATS has to understand your CV for you to have a shot at the shortlist. Identifying keywords and phrases on the employer’s website will give you an edge over other applicants. Find and note the keywords used in the job overview and candidate specifications. Also, focus on the role and industry in which you want to work.

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