I was laid off last year and am doing everything I can think of to find work. Most of the positions that I apply for are online. The problem is, out of every 30 resumes I send, I might get two calls for an interview. What else should I be doing to get employers to call me?
This is a common frustration for job seekers. You apply online for a job and have no idea if your resume was considered or if they ever hired someone for the position. Even more frustrating is when you see the same job posted on a website again a few weeks later. Is it for the same job? Is the company hiring more people? How do you know what’s going on?
Here’s what’s going on: When you see a large company frequently posting jobs online, there’s a chance that the company is not hiring at all. They are not currently interviewing people for those positions.
I don’t have exact numbers, but it’s common for corporations to post job descriptions on their company website or on a commercial job board such as Monster, but that company is not really hiring. They post these “fake” positions for a few reasons.
First, they are using the job boards as advertising for their company. They want the public to think “if XYZ Corporation is hiring, they must be doing well.” Frequently posting jobs is a way of getting a company’s name and logo in the public eye and promote themselves.
Another reason to post “fake” job openings is to gather resumes for future openings. The company might not be hiring today, but plans to hire in a few months. And when they are ready to interview, they will call those who have already sent in their resume instead of posting another job ad at that time.
So what’s a job seeker to do?
- If you see a job openings online that is interesting to you, apply for the position. Many online job postings are genuine, and you don’t want to lose those opportunities. You also want to apply for the job so the company will have your resume on file when they are ready to interview.
Do what you can follow-up with a real person, not just the general human resources contact information. Find out who the manager is in the department you would be working. Better yet, ask your networking contacts who they know at the company and ask if they are really hiring.
- Keep track of which companies you send your resume to and for which positions. Most companies that accept applications online track who applied for which job. For example, if the hiring manager sees that you applied as an accountant this week and applied as a delivery driver last week – and you don’t have experience in either field – your application will not be taken seriously. Only send your resume for positions you are truly interested in.
- Don’t depend on large commercial job boards. A job board that claims to have thousands of job openings for all types of careers in every part of the country is more likely to accept “fake” job postings. When applying online, focus your search on job boards specific to your career field or your region of the country.
- The main job board you should use is the one run by your state. Most state job boards contact employers to verify that they have real job openings and are currently interviewing people. Also, state job boards are free for employers to post positions, so you will find jobs at small companies that are not listed on commercial job board.
- Expand your online search. When you apply for jobs online, your resume is just one of dozens – sometimes hundreds – that employers receives. That means you will have a hard time standing out in the crowd and getting an interview. Instead, spend your online job search time on social networking sites.
- Use LinkedIn to connect with employer and get industry trends in the group discussions.
- Follow employers and industry thought leaders on Twitter to ask questions and get the latest news.
- Use Facebook’s BranchOut application to develop your personal brand and connect with employers.
- Get invited to Google Plus and create circles related to your career field.
- Go offline. Ask your friend and fellow job seekers. They will tell you that most people are finding out about jobs and getting interviews through networking. In addition to your online social networking, turn off the computer and meet people in person.
- Attend job search networking events at One-Stop (WorkForce) Centers or in the community.
- Get active in professional associations.
- Volunteer for a cause near to your heart.
- Do informational interviews with people in your field.
Companies might use job postings to advertise their business. But you are your best advertisement as a top job candidate. Know Yourself, Be Yourself and Express Yourself in your personal brand. Then, let employers know what they are missing by not hiring you.