“I Searched the Web and Became a
Company President in Under Two Hours!”
by Kate Wendleton
That’s the kind of story the press likes to report. Even respected journalists call The Five O’Clock Club hunting for odd spectacular stories. If only job search were that simple!
Yet the Internet has revolutionized job searching——by removing much of the drudgery and making it a more intelligent process.
One Five O’Clock Clubber uses job-posting sites to find the buzzwords used in his industry. It’s more thorough and faster to search Internet ads rather than newspaper ads for that kind of information.
Another member noticed that only a year ago there were few job postings in the biotech field—she was “ahead of the market” and took a job in another industry. But now there is a lot of job activity in biotech and it’s time for her to network into that field more seriously.
Today, most Five O’Clock Clubbers use the Internet to develop their initial lists—their Personal Marketing Plans. In addition, through the Internet you can quickly you up to speed on virtually any company—and its management.
These uses alone have made the Internet one of the most important job search tools to come along in the past few decades. The Internet saves you time and helps you to make better decisions.
If a technique results in meetings for you, then that technique is working.
Answering Ads On-line
But what about answering Internet ads? That’s what people—and the press—mean when they talk about an Internet job search.
Remember that there are still four basic techniques for getting interviews in your target market: networking, direct contact, answering ads or contacting search firms. Fewer than 10% of all jobs are filled through search firms, and fewer than 10% through ads—whether those appear in print or on-line. If a technique results in meetings for you, then that technique is working.
The headlines don’t scream about common experiences that fizzle. Fortune magazine reported that one search firm site attracted 250,000 people who each spent about three hours filling out a form. Only 70 of them ended up with jobs! Perhaps five times the 70—or 350 people—out of 250,000 got meetings. Those are the odds.
Should you answer ads on-line? Sure. But if you are really interested in that organization, also try to get in through networking or through contacting the organizations directly. Use ads to learn more about the company, to better position yourself for the industries and fields you are targeting and to learn the jargon and trends in the field.
Journalists don’t talk about what a great research tool the Internet is, but that’s the best thing about it!
When Answering Ads On-line
Human resource officers, hiring managers and search firms have software packages that allow them to search resume databases for candidates. Your resume has to make it past the cut in the initial computer search. The computer can’t use human judgment. For example, it may search for the frequency of a certain word, like “COBOL.” The resume that repeats COBOL like a mantra may come up higher in the search than the resume of a more experienced candidate who uses the word “COBOL” once or twice in the resume .
Internet job postings are growing, but they still account for a very small percentage of interviews. Your resume may be computer-selected, but you still need to do the same old things to separate yourself from your competition.
The Internet is not a magic wand for instant interviews. So do yourself a favor. Use the Internet shrewdly, follow the Five O’Clock Club method for job search—and don’t believe everything you read in the press.
Addendum: Percentage of Jobs Found Through the Internet
“In an on-line survey of 3,000 job site users this year by Forrester, only 4% found their last job through the Internet, behind 6% through temp agencies, 23% through newspaper ads, and 40% through referrals.” (“Businesses give job sites mixed evaluation” by Charles Keenan, Crain’s, August 28, 2000) And this was back in the Internet heyday. Today, even fewer people find jobs through online ads.
Editor’s note: Surveys tend to combine networking and direct contact as one category. Five O’Clock Clubbers know to use both for a more effective search.
The preceding is an excerpt from The Five O’Clock News. The Five O’Clock Club, Forty-Year Vision and Seven Stories Exercise are registered trademarks of The Five O’Clock Club, Inc. All rights reserved.