Heather Huhman | ,| By
The Internet has become a common ground for job seekers frantically looking for jobs.
The average number of people who apply for a given job is 118 and, shockingly, only 20 percent of those applicants receive an interview.
With thousands of job postings going live each day, and even more searches being made, it can be difficult to get yourself to stand out against the growing pool of applicants. What’s even worse: the roadblocks that show up at the most inopportune times during your search.
If you’ve been committed to your online job search for some time now and haven’t had any success, you may have fallen into some traps. To help you pinpoint why your online job search has been less than successful, here are five pitfalls to avoid becoming victim to during your search:
Applying for old or recycled job postings.
Although there are 2,126 new jobs posted everyday, job seekers need to be aware of recycled and old job postings. These could be job postings employers simply forgot to take down after filling the position or continue to accept applications for on a rolling basis.
If you’re trying to avoid old or recycled job postings, pay close attention to the description of the job. To find out if it’s a current job posting, it should state whether the employer is hiring immediately or are simply accepting applications.
Some employers are always looking for fresh talent, so they might keep the same job posting live for an extended period of time. However, it’s important to be aware of these postings because employers may not be hiring immediately and could overlook your resume. This will give you a better idea of whether or not the position is worth your time.
Blindly networking on LinkedIn.
Since LinkedIn’s introduction in 2003, it’s been a hub for professionals around the world. LinkedIn is a great way to network your way into a company and reach professionals who are connected to the jobs you want to apply for.
Although LinkedIn is great for networking with employers, you must avoid blindly connecting with recruiters and professionals. While you may think it’s a smart strategy to connect with as many people as possible, this plan could actually backfire on you.
As you connect with professionals on LinkedIn, make a genuine connection with each person. Send a friendly, professional message with each connection to introduce yourself and explain your reason for connecting. Being genuine in your connection will make a positive impression on the individual by showing your effort to establish a relationship.
Falling victim to scams and phony job postings.
Although most job websites try their best to filter out bad job postings, not every single one can be caught. Because of this, the responsibility falls on the job seeker to be aware of scams and bad job postings.
If you’re stumbling upon job postings that advertise high compensation with little or no skills required, chances it’s a scam. In addition, if there’s a fee required for you to apply, this should throw up a red flag, too.
Formatting your resume for a robot.
A common piece of advice job seekers take a little too seriously is flooding their resumes with keywords. While you may think this is the best way for computers to screen your resume, it could actually hurt your search. Many applicant tracking systems are programmed to read for contextualization, which means keywords and the overall content of your resume flows together.
This is why it’s important to write your resume as if a real person will read it so it doesn’t send the applicant tracking system into keyword overload.
Failing to reach the right people.
At the end of the day, when you apply for jobs online, you need to make sure you are applying for the right position and your resume reaches the right person.
To make sure you resume lands in the hands of the person in charge of hiring, you need to find the right entry point to give yourself an advantage. This involves learning the name and position of the person who would be responsible for your hiring and learning a little background information before submitting your resume. This way, you’ll make sure your resume doesn’t get sucked into the resume black hole.
Although it’s tempting to blindly apply for dozens of jobs without doing any research on the position, you need to be more careful during your search. By knowing the ins and outs of a successful online job search — and some of the mistakes to avoid — you’ll apply for the right positions and land more interviews.
What are some other traps job seekers should be aware of during their online job search?