There’s no avoiding it these days – technology has become a crucial part of job searching. With so many jobs right at your fingertips, it can be overwhelming to know where to start or how to maximize your online job search results.

In the same way that you have many jobs at your fingertips, hiring managers have many candidates at theirs. Oftentimes, HR and hiring managers can get overwhelmed with the online hiring process because of the volume of applicants. Depending on the type of position you are applying for, sometimes you can be competing with upwards of 500 applicants! How do you stand out in that crowd? How do you ensure you are managing your expectations when it comes to this job search?

So Many Jobs, So Little Time

Having access to every single job online does not mean you should apply to all of them in order to better your chances of getting selected for one. While it can feel like a numbers game – the more you apply to, the better – sometimes this can work against you. If you apply to the same job online more than once, some employers may disqualify you from consideration as it can convey disorganization and a lack of true interest. A tip to avoid this is to keep a work search log and document the title of the position, company and department it was with, a short description (especially anything that stands out about it), and the date you applied for it. That way you can check to see if you are applying to a new job or the same one. This will also help you stay prepared when employers call back regarding your resume.

Qualifications Matter

Another way to manage your expectations is to read the qualifications of the position you are applying for and make sure that you meet all of the requirements, even if the job description sounds like something you are capable of doing. Hiring managers create specific requirements because they are familiar with how simple or complex the position is and know the type of background that is needed to be successful in that position. If you have a more advanced degree than what the job requires, don’t assume that the organization will substitute education for experience or that it will substitute on a one-to-one basis. In these cases, contact HR regarding their policies prior to going through the process of applying to ensure you are a qualified candidate.

The Waiting Game

The most important tip for managing expectations during your online job search is to remain patient. Sometimes hiring managers are short-staffed and it takes them longer to address the hundreds of applications that come through. It may take longer than you anticipate to hear back, if at all. Other times, positions can get filled internally, put on hold or eliminated before they get filled, so it is important to understand that you may not always get a call back for the position.

In some cases, it may actually be more effective to contact HR than the hiring manager regarding a status update on your application. While the time it takes to hear from an employer can be one of the most frustrating parts of the job search process, being respectful of a hiring manager’s time displays patience and professionalism.

Standing Out Without Striking Out

When you are ready to start applying for jobs that you are interested in and qualified for, how do you stand out among a sea of applicants? One way is to ensure that your resume is up-to-date, easy to read and has no mistakes. Having a resume without a mistake on it will automatically put you among the top applicants. Next, many people copy and paste the job description of their previous role onto their resume to save time, but that does not give the hiring manager an honest picture of what you were responsible for on a day-to-day basis. It can also seem very unmotivated and deter a hiring manager from pursuing you as a candidate! Instead, elaborate on those basic bullet points and illustrate your responsibilities in rich detail. Finally, be honest on your resume; it’s easy to get caught! In fact, 3 out of 4 hiring managers have reported catching someone in a lie on their resume and not pursuing them as a candidate as a result. As they say, honesty really is the best policy.

If you’re in the middle of an online job search, save yourself the hassle of filling out 400 irrelevant applications, and the hiring manager the hassle of going through 400 different applications that are not relevant to the position. Instead, focus on what you are most interested in pursuing and qualified for, and commit fully to that. It will make you consistent and save you work when it comes to applying online.

Do you have any tips for managing expectations when looking for a new job? Share your online job search tips in the comments section below!


Dolly, guest authorDolly is a Healthcare Recruitment Advisor working with our team in the Medix Houston Office.


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