Gone are the days of sifting through the classifieds. With new features such as RSS feeds, automatic e-mail postings sent to your Inbox or SMS messages every time a new opportunity is posted are just a few of the ways technology has transformed job hunting. That’s right, now opportunities literally come to you. But do all of these new features make for a more efficient job search or one that is just confusing?
“As with other aspects of work, the Internet has made the job hunting process easier in many ways, but complicated it in other ways,” says Tobi Sather, program director of online job posting service through the Calgary Urban Vibe program (www.calgaryurbanvibe.com).
“To be effective, employers and job hunters must now expand their search to include several online job posting sites in addition to the traditional methods. Youth in particular are technology savvy, so posting jobs online is the best approach for reaching this ... market.”
Brett Dibble is currently going into his fourth year, pursuing social work at the University of Victoria. He often uses online tools to find jobs and finds them helpful.
“I find they are effective since you don’t have to go searching from office to office, or shop to shop.”
While there are many positives to job hunting and applying online there are also many drawbacks.
“The ease of online postings has also increased the amount of competition — both among employers and among job hunters. There is a greater need for both employers and job hunters to stand out from the competition,” says Sather.
“And yet the Internet has made it easier for job hunters to fire off disposable applications. It’s easy to e-mail a generic letter and resumé in response to postings, which is ineffective for the job hunter and frustrating for the employer.”
For the job seeker Dibble acknowledges job sites are convenient but can be cold.
As Dibble points out, it is easier to ignore an e-mail submission than a hardcopy on a desk or a person waiting to meet you at reception.
Sather says postings should have enough information so the job seeker can decide if the position is appropriate. “Postings should also be upfront about the company so the job seeker can determine if it will be a fit for them,” she says.
Now that applying is easier quality, not quantity, should be the focus of an employer’s online posting says Sather. “The goal has changed to attract quality candidates — not to gather a huge stack of resumés.”
Applicants should keep this in mind — don’t waste your time or an employer’s. Only apply for jobs that truly suit what you’re looking for, and for which you are realistically qualified.
“Don’t send off a generic cover letter and resumé. Take the time to tailor your application to highlight the requirements that the employer has specified,” says Sather.