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Recent College Graduate’s Experience in Online Job Search

January 26, 2012

A recent college grad and our newest employee Jim Squillante, describes his experience with online job searching in a four part weekly series.

Efficiently Searching for Jobs

When it comes to choosing a career or your first full-time job, odds are if you’re like me, you’ll probably find something slightly outside of your expertise/degree. I have always been open minded with a few general requirements:  to like what I do, make sure it is challenging work and if or when necessary, be it a good stepping stone for myself to use as leverage at a later date.

During my final year, I found myself perusing the university career services job portal for countless hours searching jobs that never amounted to anything. I remember wasting day’s just searching, reading descriptions and applying through job boards but never hearing back. After a few months in the fall of my senior year, I took some time off to figure out the best ways to get my resume past the initial application because I realized I didn’t have a firm grasp on how to efficiently search and apply for jobs.

As previously mentioned, I went on to my university career services website. I also visited job boards during the beginning of my search because it seemed like the logical thing to do..think about it, most company’s post positions on careerbuilder, monster, etc. I figured it would be like ‘shooting fish in a barrel’…wrong. It seems like a great way for employers to recruit and easy access for candidates to spot newly posted openings, but when it boils down many candidates struggle to hear back due to the massive amount of applications inundating employers.

Job boards (i.e. monster, careerbuilder etc) mostly contain reliable position openings but I was turned off when I soon realized how many jobs surfaced to the forefront during general searches by simply misrepresenting their description and company. Some sounded interesting but turned out to be “pyramid schemes” after reading reviews.

Bottom line if you’re a new grad or seasoned professional, don’t waste your time applying with job hunter sites exclusively. In my opinion, it’s better to find a position on these sites to give yourself an idea of how to narrow down your search, then do your own independent research and apply a different way in order to allow HR to differentiate you from the masses that apply via job boards.

A few alternatives to Job Boards…

Search Engines. I use Google. I’ve even been known to search Google on the Bing homepage when my blackberry pulls up the internet. Regardless of whichever search engine is used, we highly rely on search engines to crawl the internet and find what we are looking. This certainly applies to when searching for work. The successful companies that I have been able to find and easily apply when searching are the ones that fully optimize their website and are relevant on searches. Google looks for relevant, trustworthy content to help you find a company/position. Google potential employers, do your research on their site, and check out their career pages for the ability to directly apply. Chances are you may even be able to find someone in HR to contact directly.

Social Media. I suggest when searching companies look to social media. Many companies have Facebook and Linkedin career pages that allow you to see open positions and click the links to directly apply. These social media sites have made applying for positions very easy and efficient. By following a company page you can also remain informed when new positions open. I also like to check a company’s credentials through social media sites just to make sure they are accredited, progressive, and respected in their community.

Stay tuned for next weeks post.

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