How to make the most of your ONLINE job search

As recruitment continues to firmly cement itself as a virtual process, candidates are required to become internet savvy in order to find their next job. Not everyone's blessed with Google artistry or networking know-how though, so we're here to help you optimise your chances of landing that next role.

From navigating social media to getting one up on automated tracking systems, here are our top tips on how to make the most of your online job search.

Be easy to find

How do you expect employers to come knocking when your presence is virtually non-existent. A CV is merely the tip of the iceberg for an employer and they're likely to seek out your industry footprint through a combination of web searches and social media stalking.

LinkedIn is your online professional voice, so it's important to make sure you both have a profile and that you're utilising it. In fact, social media in general is an apt way of building an online presence; just make sure that you clean up your profiles to stop them ruining your prospects. A personal website that includes a resume, portfolio and means of contact can also help you look professional and is another great way to make a small dent in what is ultimately one infinite candidate database. In the age of digital recruitment, visibility is king.

Tailor your CV for keyword search

Due to the multiplying effect of CVs, recruiters and employers will often use automated tracking systems (ATS) to highlight the resumes that are deemed (on the surface at least) to be the most relevant for the role. This will usually be done by searching for keywords that are linked to specific skills, qualifications or experience so it's important to cram (within reason) your CV with the right terms to get noticed.

Relevant keywords will differ from job to job, however the original advert can be considered a pretty accurate guide as to what should be included. Employers will generally state the desired qualities expected of applicants so it only makes sense to base your submission around these. It can also prove useful to research other similar job postings and examine the language that they use. Doing this doesn't necessarily promise a positive response, but it should at least get you over the first hurdle.

Social media

As I've already touched upon, social media is an effective tool in helping candidates become more visible to employers, however it can also give access to valuable contacts and job opportunities that would otherwise go unnoticed in the physical world. 94% of recruiters admit to using (ish) social media as part of their recruitment process, so it would seem that it pays to make the most of your online profiles.

Connecting with relevant people in your field is a must if you're looking to optimise your online job search. Thought leaders provide useful industry insight whilst companies and HR managers will alert you to potential vacancies. 73% of companies admit to making a successful hire via social media with around one in six candidates finding their last job this way. Although the majority of job seekers will focus their efforts predominantly on Facebook; LinkedIn and Twitter remain the main outlets for employers so target your presence accordingly!

Target jobs that suit your skills NOT just all jobs!

Sometimes there can be a thing as too much choice and unfortunately this can result in a less than focused job search. Logic would have us believe that the more jobs we apply for, the more chance we have of getting a response - works in theory, not in practice.

This quantity over quality approach typically results in one of two things: you either end up applying for jobs that you aren't at all suited for or you fail to tailor your application for the jobs that you suit perfectly. Instead, assess your strengths and passions and target your search at adverts that match these. Not only will you have more chance of landing the role, you'll receive less demoralising rejections. One 'congratulations' is better than a hundred 'we're sorrys.'

Automated searches

Though it can certainly be tempting to spend every waking hour scrolling through job boards and applying for roles you're far from suitable for, much of this time is wasted and could be better spent building contacts and developing a personal brand. Job boards are becoming increasingly user friendly and features such as saved searches and email alerts can help cut your browsing time in half.

If nothing else, you should already be refining your search to make the most of your job board results. Searching by location or job role is a must, whilst sorting by most recent will flump long standing and outdated vacancies from your list. These search parameters can then be saved meaning that all you have to do is log-in to immediately find the results most relevant to you. Even better, you can set up email alerts from a range of websites that will post tailored results to your inbox daily. Now get back to Netflix!

Finding a new job has never been more difficult but learning to master branding, job boards and LinkedIn et al could be the key to your career change. Though they by no means guarantee success, the above handy tips should help you get the most from your online search and improve the chances of finding your next job.