How to Start Your Online Job Search

Are you in the market for a new job? If so, you probably turned to the Internet to begin your search. That’s because of the vast array of job searching tools that are available to you online, between social media and online job sites. The number of people searching for jobs online doubled between 2005 and 2015. In some ways, the Internet can almost seem to be too a powerful tool—people are often overwhelmed when they begin their job search and are not certain where to start.

The first thing to do before you begin any job search, but especially an online job search is to take a good look at your own online identity. Is there anything on your social media that might make you unattractive to an employer? Have you disparaged past employers on twitter? It’s important to take a good look at your online presence from an objective perspective. If you were searching for new recruits, would your online presence make you seem like a good choice? If not, delete some posts, maybe remove some of the references to your love for hard-partying and possibly also cleaning up any profanity as well.

Your next social media step is to update your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your information is up-to-date, be sure your education history is listed as well as the correct school or schools. Also, include any industry or professional organizations of which you are a member or contributor. Start thinking about what someone in Human Resources would see if they have your resume in hand and look you up. Also, make sure you’ve been keeping up with adding your real-life contacts on LinkedIn, a wide network can really help you find a new job.

LinkedIn also a powerful recruiting tool for many industries and employers and may be your first choice for a place to begin your online job search, because the jobs may come to you. According to a LinkedIn survey, over 75% of people who accepted new employment offers used LinkedIn to “inform their career decision.” Especially if you’re flexible enough to be able to move or relocate for a job.

Resumes are another important key to an online job search, and keeping yours fresh and ready to go means you can apply very quickly for any job openings you spot. It’s a good idea to keep a sort of basic resume to which you can add or remove or emphasize key aspects for the specific position you’re applying for. It doesn’t hurt to have a baseline cover letter to draw from and add to either.

Finally, it’s time to set up profiles on online job search sites like Indeed, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, Monster, or Ziprecruiter. Upload your basic resume and add in as much of your job history as the particular job recruiter sites you use will allow. Again, this will allow you to very quickly apply when positions become available. As will setting up job alerts for your region so you know when positions that might be well suited to you are posted.