Don't Get Careless in Your Online Job Hunt

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A couple of interesting articles have appeared on the web over the past two days about using the internet in your job search.

The first, an article by Jillian D'Onfro at, discussed the results of the most recent Jobvite annual survey of human resources professionals. The survey revealed how over 92% of HR pros plan to use social media as part of their recruiting process in the upcoming year. This may be unsurprising to some, and we have talked about the importance of LinkedIn in your job hunt before, but what is new is how important Twitter and Facebook are becoming to recruiters. Two thirds of HR professionals are using Facebook, and 54% Twitter, as part of their hiring strategy. Just as jobseekers are using social media to research positions and organizations, those companies are doing the same to find out about potential hires.

On the heels of this article came another from which talks about a young girl who attached a photo of Nic Cage to a job application instead of her resume. What was meant as a casual inquiry into whether a position was still available became a rather embarrassing moment and lost opportunity.

Job hunters have always had to be diligent in their job search as cover letters and resumes should always be meticulously edited and appropriate to the potential position. However, the speed and ease of applying online can make it easy to get careless in your job hunt. Here are some tips to keep you on your toes:

1. Read and edit every resume, cover letter and email you send out.
Not only will this ensure your application is free of grammar and spelling errors but also that you haven't made any mistakes specific to the position. For example, copying and pasting specific parts of your cover letter may lead you to name the wrong organization or person in the letter. Having multiple job postings open in your browser at once may lead you to get confused about who to apply to and what their name is. Addressing your introductory email to the wrong person can lead to your resume hitting the scrap heap before it even gets opened.

2. Slow down
I'll admit it, I have applied for a position over my phone once. These days we are just as likely to be online via our phone or tablet than on our desktop. But these devices are often used at such a rapid pace that they can make us careless in how we communicate. Email sent from a mobile device is often unprofessional and may be more similar to text messaging than business correspondence. If you are intent on applying for a job from a mobile device then slow down and be even more diligent to what you are sending and how you are sending it.

3. Manage your online identity. 
Are you wasted in every picture on Facebook? Did you disparage your last employer on Twitter? Recruiters and companies actively research potential employees on social media now, so know what they can see about you. You might use Facebook for personal connections and Twitter as a public profile, but are you truly aware of what others can see about you online? Manage your privacy settings and be diligent about what you make available to see online.


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