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The huge majority of job seekers in the Western world use Internet-based job sites or job boards. Here’s how they can be used most effectively.
The best thing about online job sites is that they are so easy to use, and can be quite effective as tools for accessing a large number of employment opportunities.
There are a multitude of job sites, each with their own focus. Some are regional, others deal with a specific industry or community niche, and still others are general purpose. The sites with a large quantity of jobs usually have a feature to filter jobs based upon your interest, and some send email updates of new positions regularly. When the job candidates see a posting that is relevant for them, they then apply for a job by sending their cover letter and CV/resume, either on the website itself or externally by email/fax.
You really can find a job
Many people absolutely do get invited to interviews in a wide variety of sectors from job openings they applied to on websites, and some of those interviews lead to job offers.
Use local conventions
When applying for jobs in Israel, it is critical that you send an Israeli-style CV, as well as including a targeted cover letter. Make sure that you address the specifics of the job requirements in your cover letter and/or CV.
Research the company before applying
If the hiring company is known from the job listing, spend some time researching them before applying so that you can highlight in your CV/cover letter how you can benefit that specific company.
Apply via fax when possible
When a fax number is given, consider applying by fax instead of email, as this can sometimes help distinguish you from the crowd since most people apply by email.
Call ahead to introduce yourself
If the job opening has a telephone number, call beforehand to introduce yourself to the person receiving the applications, to develop a relationship and get additional information that may be useful.
Don’t limit yourself, let employers decide
If you are not sure whether you meet the requirement for a job and thus whether to apply, don’t filter yourself out of a job. If the job sounds interesting to you, just send in your application. It could be that some of the reservations that you have about a particular job requirement will be evaluated by the employer in a more lenient or different way, based upon the real job requirements and quality of candidates applying.
Follow-up is critical after applying for a job. This is best done by telephone, initially to check if your application was received, and sometimes just the fact that the recruiter has found your application while you are speaking on the telephone is enough to get yourself a little more attention.
Find and network with company insiders
Contacting the employer after an application can have other benefits as well. I have heard of people that at the same time they applied for a job, they also searched for people that work at the same company, e.g. a person in the same or related profession as opposed to the human resources person, and opened a secondary line of communication. More than once job candidates have told me that it was actually this alternate path to the company that succeeded in raising their visibility and getting them an interview.
Finally, online websites have to be placed in the overall spectrum of job search resources/techniques. I started this article by writing that one of the good things about online sites is that they are so easy to use. However, this is also one of the worst things about the sites; if they are so easy for you to use, they are easy for everyone else as well, and jobs that are posted here tend to get a lot of candidates. Therefore, it is best for the job candidate to diversify their job search techniques, adding additional methods including employment networking and contacting placement agencies.
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