Are you new to applying for jobs online? Maybe you have been applying online for ages but you aren’t sure if you are focusing in the right places. Whatever it is, rest assured that in about 5 minutes you are going to know exactly where to apply for jobs online.
Company websites are by far the most effective places to apply for jobs online. Why? There are 2 main reasons.
First, when you apply directly on a company website, you are bypassing 100% of the expenses that the company would normally have to pay to a staffing agency or job board. Let me put this in perspective for you. Let’s say that you had a clone. You are exactly the same. Same skills, same resume, same everything.
Do you think that a company is more likely to hire:
- The version of you that applied directly on the company website costing them $0.00.
- The version of you that is coming from a staffing agency that is charging this company an additional 40% on top of your salary for “discovering you”.
Congratulations, you are correct. The answer is obviously the company website application with no cost.
Second, you are showing genuine interest in the company by seeking out their website, finding the place to apply, and taking the time to fill out their application. This is very different from a staffing agency calling you because they found your resume online and wanted to know if you are interested in so and so job. Hiring managers know this, and they respect the person who is applying directly on their website and know that they are typically the ones who are more passionate about working at their company.
Unfortunately, although this is the most effective way to apply for jobs, this is also probably the timeliest. This brings me to good ole job boards.
Unlike applying directly on company websites, job boards can be extremely efficient if you know what you are doing. In our article How to Apply for Jobs Online, we break down exactly how to efficiently apply to jobs, particularly on job boards.
I am sorry to be the one to tell you; not all job boards are created equal. Some are simply amazing, while others stink. Depending on your specialty, there are some great job boards out there for you. Here are a few key players:
- Indeed.com: Indeed offers a lot of great jobs. Their platform is not the most aesthetically pleasing but personally, they are my favorite. Indeed offers great filters, customized user preferences, advanced search techniques, and their “Apply with your Indeed Resume” feature is pretty awesome.
- ZipRecruiter.com: ZipRecruiter is also a great platform. Their user interface is by far the best out of any job board I have seen. They have a “One Click Apply” feature where all you need to do is click a button and wallah, you applied. They also have a pretty cool mobile app where you can be easily notified and can apply for jobs directly from your phone.
- Careerbuilder.com: CareerBuilder made the list mainly because it has one fantastic feature that I really wish Indeed and ZipRecruiter would adopt. CareerBuilder allows you to use a quick apply feature similar to ZipRecruiter and Indeed except CB has an option where you can flip a switch and only see the jobs that are quick to apply too.
Although ZipRecruiter and Indeed have this quick apply functionality, they do not let you filter your search to only see these types of jobs. So, you will find yourself scrolling through page after page looking for these "quick apply" jobs.
Oh, recruiting agencies, everybody’s favorite people to deal with. Trust me, I know; they are a horrible necessity. Recruiting agencies, especially the big ones, are worth giving a try. It really cannot hurt to go online, or give a call to these companies and ask if they have anything available.
The problem is, they will lead you on because they want to get paid! If you speak with an agency, make sure you are also applying on company websites, and applying on job boards. Do not EVER call an agency and sit around waiting for them to call you back. You will be extremely disappointed. Some of the bigger agencies to consider contacting are:
- Allegis Group
- Randstad Holding
- Kelly Services
Go online and create a profile or give these companies a call and let them create a profile for you. The more places you apply for jobs online, the better.
Lastly, but not necessarily least, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be a great place to network for jobs online. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a LinkedIn currently or you barely ever use your LinkedIn, this will probably take a while for you to get any value from it. Try these 19 Essential LinkedIn Profile Tips For Job Seekers.
LinkedIn allows you to connect with professionals in your desired industry who you can either approach for a way into a company or approach for some advice on your industry in general. Once you have built a network of relevant professionals, it can be an extremely personal tool to use when searching for a job.
Assuming you have a LinkedIn and have already established a solid network of professionals in your industry, the next step would be to contact these professionals. Now, these individuals are probably extremely busy, and typically their job description is not going to include “helping random people on LinkedIn get a job at their company”. So make sure that if you are going to contact someone on LinkedIn you are crafting a very personal and well thought-out message to get this person’s attention. Maybe compliment them on a recent article they have published and then ask them how they got started in their career.
Tip: People love talking about themselves. It is their favorite thing to talk about! If you can show genuine interest in someone on LinkedIn, you are going to have a lot better chance receiving a positive reaction when you finally ask them if they can share your resume with the appropriate party within their organization.