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Job Hunting: Isn't Something Magical Supposed to Happen Now That I'm on LinkedIn?

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Fra Diavolo (magician), Digital ID TH-14088, New York Public LibraryNo perfect job in that hat!If you're reading this post, you're probably a job seeker who has exhausted all of the "fresh" online job postings for the day, but feel obligated to stay in front of the computer to fulfill your daily quota of job hunt time.  It's okay.  You're not alone, but that's also part of the reason so many people are still unemployed.  Applying to online job postings is unlikely to land you a job.  Yes, your cousin's brother knows someone in Alabama who just got a great job through an online job board.  I'm sure others have too, but it's still not the best way to look.  Networking is the best way to get employed and stay employed and it involves more than creating a LinkedIn profile.

Actually, I kind of fibbed.  Cold calling is often regarded as the statistically most effective way to find work as in flipping through the yellow pages and calling every company that might be able to use someone with your skill set.  Time consuming and difficult?  You bet!  So is networking and filling out the typical online job application form.  Given that all of the methods take time and effort, wouldn't you be happier knowing you're spending your time doing something that is likely to land you a job or at least help you in your career down the line?

Even though job seekers complain about the annoying and time-consuming nature of online applications, they're strangely addicted to them.   It's like watching a teenage girl with an obsession with bad boys.  Everyone agrees that online job boards are annoying and boring time-wasters and yet most job seekers spend eight hours a day on them!  I was puzzled by this phenomenon until one job seeker said, "Well, I know there's a job when I apply online because it's posted."  For those of you who remember the TV show Monk, think of that episode in the insane asylum with the patient who believes he sees Santa everywhere.  Remember when he says, "I read it on the Internet, so I know it's true"?  Same thing with job postings.  Actually, I have more definitive proof that the job postings are fake than I do that Santa isn't real.  If you can't help yourself and insist on relying on job postings, please read these tips from Weddles.com about distinguishing the good leads from the crummy ones.

Remember though, most of the job postings online are not going to lead you to an actual position any faster than meeting with people and working your network, and that's assuming the job posting is legit.  Most of the job postings aren't.

As for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and all the other social media sites, they can be excellent tools for reconnecting with colleagues and other professionals you meet, but they won't get the job for you.  While some career counseling professionals might argue that not having a presence on LinkedIn could cost you opportunities, that is not the same as saying LinkedIn will get you a job.

Getting meetings with people who can hire you is what gets you a job.  If you aren't getting called in for interviews, set up your own.  Of course the meetings you can set up usually won't be official job interviews, but any contact with a decision maker is better than none.  For tips on creative ways to get your foot in the door with the right people try Shortcut Your Job Search: The Best Way to Get Meetings by Kate Wendleton.

Also, remember that building a solid network of people who can be helpful to you in your career takes time and effort just like a good job search takes time and effort.  If you are currently unemployed, and you're not spending 40 hours a week looking for work, it's time to re-evaluate your strategy.  Set up as many meetings as possible, research companies, and take advantage of some of the free classes and public programs offered by NYPL.  While you can't control whether or not a particular employer will call you in for an interview or whether or not an interviewer decides you're the best candidate for the job, you can control the way you present yourself and the amount of effort you put into the process.

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wow...what a bummer post :-(

wow...what a bummer post :-( I've gotten many jobs from ads, and an excellent lead that coalesced into a job from LinkedIn. Today, job hunting again after a couple of years, I was preparing to respond to a bunch of ads but now--having read this dour post--feel like...why bother...you won't get any response and the ads are a sham anyway. I'm going to have to shake this article off, clear my mind, and start again.

Job Hunting on the Internet

May 23, 2011 If one applies for a job on the internet, according to the Department of Labor, there is a small chance of getting an interview. According to a study that Labor did, only 20% of those who apply for jobs through the internet get any reply at all. Most people do not get replies. The reason for this is that large companies get up to 500 applications each day, and the ones on the internet are the last to be read. Personnel Departments tend to first look at resumes which are sent in the mail with accompanying letters. That is not to say that an e-mailed resume never gets responded to. I had a few good interviews through the internet ads, but got most of my jobs by calling to ask for an interview or by responding to ads with a resume and letter in the mail. It is absolutely true that the chances of getting jobs by sending out a resume on the internet are very few. I have worked in Personnel at a few large companies and know what the routine is. Those with good skills fare better than those who don't. However, those with no skills, those who are young, and those whose friends or relatives already work for a company have a better chance of getting a job than those with great skills. The reason for this is that a large number of the population are very computer literate, articulate, polite and well educated. It is for that reason that employers look at the more personal attributes like how well a person might fit into an organization. Social status plays a large role in decisions about hiring. A person whose family is wealthy or who attended an ivy league school, immediately goes to the front of the line when it comes to hiring. There is no absolute answer as to who and why a person is hired. Like destiny, luck plays a very large role in what transpires. It is still a roll of the dice! A person may go for an interview on a day when the interviewer is in a very good mood and get hired for a job. If the interviewer is in a foul mood the applicant's resumes may be tossed aside. As funny as it may sound, if robots did the hiring, and there was no emotional component, there might be a more fair system. On the bright side, as long as a person has hope, self esteem, and a profound belief that his or her future will be better, that person has a very good chance of being hired and promoted. Never underestimate, "The Power of Positive Thinking." Blessings to you and yours. Have a great summer!

More on job Hunting

May 24, 2011 In a previous blog I mentioned some of the things not to do on a job interview. Here are a few more: * Show annoyance if the interviewer is late for the appointment. * Make personal remarks about the interviewer such as "That dress would look better with a necklace." or "That tie looks drab with a gray suit. You could try something more colorful." When leaving an interview many people make comments about the interviewer to others awaiting an interview. It is better not to do so, as it makes a bad impression on an interviewer if he or she hears those remarks, particularly if the remarks are negative in nature. * Do not rate the company you are applying to by comparing it with other companies. Focus only on the company that you are applying for a position with. A very important aspect of job hunting is research. Arriving at an interview with a good knowledge of the history of the company you are applying to goes a long way in being qualified for the job. You can find great research on companies at the Research library on Lexington Avenue at 34th Street. Other sources of research are: Ask.com, Google.com and Wikipedia. Also, all of the libraries have classes in computers and other soft ware. The classes are free and you can really upgrade your skills. If you are a very shy person and lack the confidence required to promote yourself at an interview, take some classes in Public Speaking such as The Dale Carnegie course. Those courses are also offered in book form also. A Public Speaking course is a great venue for those who get nervous speaking to others. There are many people like that... Blessings to you and yours. Have a wonderful summer! Geraldine Nathan

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