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Home / job seeking

Career Corner: How to Start Your Job Search

The internet makes it easier for those looking for a job. – Courtesy photo

Author: Angela Copeland

You’ve decided 2019 is the year. You’re going to find a new job. You’ve been waiting for the right time, and it’s finally here. After years and years of hating your job, you’ve heard the market has finally turned around. You’re ready for something new.

If you’re like many people, you haven’t looked in so long; you’re really not sure where to begin. Perhaps the last time you looked for a job, you found it the old fashioned way. Applying online feels scary. It seems like such a big deal that it can stop you from starting.

The good news is this. Companies have been telling candidates, “Apply online. If you’re a good fit, we’ll call you.” But, in reality, many managers are hiring in just the same way you’re used to – the old fashioned way.

If you think about it, it makes sense. When a manager decides to hire someone new, they typically think about whether or not they know someone who would be a good fit. If not, they ask around to see if they know anyone who knows anyone. It feels better to hire someone they know and trust. It feels less risky.

Very rarely will a hiring manager first think, “Wow! I’d love to sort through a few hundred resumes today from the internet.” The internet is typically where they look when they don’t know someone else. They may even try a headhunter or external recruiter before they trust internet applications. So, good news is – the job search has changed less than it seems like from the outside.

The other good news is, the internet has given job seekers an incredible amount of transparency that we didn’t have before. It’s never been easier to know which companies were hiring. It’s never been easier to find out what a particular job is worth. You can now find out what a company’s employees think of their CEO and their company. You can even study interview questions before your first interview. In a way, the internet has helped to level the playing field for job seekers. If you’ve never seen this sort of information before, there are three websites you should check out: Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed.

And, if you’re just starting to search, don’t let the new internet process scare you. Keep looking the old fashioned way, with a little bit of internet research thrown in for good measure. It’s okay to email your application directly to the hiring manager. It’s okay to ask a friend who works at the company to put in a good word for you. The old process still applies.

Before you apply, take a little time to revise your resume. You want it to be up to date, accurate, and error free. When you do get in front of the hiring manager, you want to put your best foot forward the first time. That also hasn’t changed.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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