6 Internet Traps that Stall a Job Search

by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

Using the Internet is clearly the “go-to” approach used by most job-seekers today, but be certain you don’t treat your online search efforts casually. Any mistakes could be broadcast to a wider audience than you imagine. Not all publicity is good publicity when it comes to your personal branding enterprise or online job search. Anything posted online tends to take on a life of its own, including job postings. So be certain you maintain as much control as possible of your own information and job search avoiding these 6 traps.
1) Posting personal contact information.
You need a balance here between being able to be contacted and making yourself vulnerable to identity theft. When posting your resume, follow each site’s posting guidelines, and be aware of how “public” your contact information will be when your resume “goes live”. Check the settings to see if employers have a secure portal for the site, or if your resume is available to anyone on the Internet. The more secure the better in targeting your job search and maintaining your privacy.
2) Using inappropriate email addresses.
Make sure you have selected an email account that is appropriate to your job search. One that is too personal definitely sends the wrong message, suggesting that your boundaries between work and play are not in place. Similar concerns may be raised about your judgment if you use your current work email. There are many options to open free email accounts online. Consider one of those resources to set up a dedicated email account just for your job search. It may also help you organize your job search efforts.
3) Opening your job search up to your current employer.
There are many ways your current employer may learn about your job search, but you can take a few precautions to lessen that possibility. Avoid using any contact information from your current place of employment. Be selective about where you choose to post. Wallpapering the Internet with your resume is likely to create more problems than positive results for you. Do not use work stations or equipment at the office to launch your online job search.
4) Failing to match your qualifications to those required in the position.
It is tempting to send out resumes to interesting positions, particularly if you are ready to explore a new area or feel stuck in your current industry. Using the “old shot-gun” approach of sending the resume to multiple sites is relatively easy and inexpensive, but such an indiscriminate approach may diffuse your efforts and paint you as desperate or lacking focus. Don’t diminish your strengths by responding to “everything”!
5) Limiting your job search to online efforts.
Not all jobs are posted online. Depending on your geographic parameters, you may want to get out and search local job sources as well. Networking continues to be a strong source of jobs for diligent and well-connected candidates. Don’t rely just on Internet contacts – give your phone number and physical address when you personalize these responses. Remember, don’t use company time or equipment in sending things out or identifying contact information.
6) Not researching companies to which you are applying.
By finding out about the corporate culture for positions of interest, you are more likely to be successful in aligning your job search efforts and resume with those of the company. And of course, use the Internet to find out basic contact information to take control in reaching the right person.
The Internet is definitely a strong resource in any job search these days. Take a bit of time to check your “appearance” by using an appropriate email account, make sure any attachments are virus-free, and maintain a business-like approach in your email correspondence. Ensure the first impression of you the potential employer will be viewing, printing, and circulating around the office is the one you want. Using these strategies will help you maintain your online job search momentum!