How To: The Online Job Search Process

Posted by in Career Advice

We all know about internet job search engines and perhaps have used them before. But we haven't yet mastered, (at least I haven't), how to make these searches turn into a job. I have thought a lot about these sites lately. My husband is still desperately trying to find work and he uses many of these job sites.

He was very upset the other day because he applied to a job that he felt matched his qualtifications perfectly, but he was rejected. He was left fuming and wondering what went wrong. That's the important question: what went wrong? I've tried to figure this out myself and have recognized a few tips as potentially helpful. For simplicity, we will focus on retail jobs although these retail job searching tips can be applied to any job.

1) Probably the first hurdle we all go through is job hunting. So you browse through jobs listed in the retail industry and hopefully focus on a few retail companies that you are interested in. Unknowingly, you could be setting your sights too high and getting lost in the mass. Some of the most popular companies like: Target, Kohl's, Walgreens or Macy's (list provided by have tons of retail applicants and so you've already missed out on a potential opportunity.

You could be the best applicant for that job but your resume won't even be seen because of the tons that have to be sifted through first. Why not be more personal? Go to your favorite retail outlets, dress to impress and give them your resume. An alternate job search tip is to go to company websites directly and look for career opportunities, or even target less popular retail companies in your area. Smaller companies may have more job openings.

2) Once you've pinpointed where you want to apply, then comes the stressful process of sending resumes and additonal information pertinent to the job position. This is where most of us can't bring a job offer to fruition. What is the problem? Some believe that most job searchers misunderstand the role of the internet (states an MSN article). Meaning that its main use is for networking and research. But I know many people who have gotten jobs online (as well as those who haven't) so this can't be the full explanation.

Another logical reason could be that the application materials are not filled out correctly or the wrong information is sent entirely. In these cases job applicants are immediately rejected (perhaps that's what happend to my husband). We are tempted with the career site's templates to mass produce resumes and personal information and then click send. We think we have accomplished a lot. However, many companies either require a more personalized response, additonal information, or want you to fill out their applicaton instead of sending a resume. Be sure to read everything the company requires and adjust your application materials accordingly. Sometimes a formatted response is not enough to make you shine.

3) One of the most important ways to get noticed nowadays is through social media sites, which are overlooked by many. I never understood the importance of networking until I got my first job by knowing "the right people." Platforms like LinkedIn are important ways to get noticed. My mother quit a job and was hired by another company within two weeks and she attributes this success to her LinkedIn profile. So it can't hurt.

You might even try contacting old friends or friends of friends--any online contact really, and ask if there are any jobs available within their networks. Be it through Facebook, Myspace or Twitter, we tend to know people from outside our inner circle who may be able to help us find that next retail career job. just be careful how you represent yourself on these public platforms. Professionalism is key.

4) Assuming you've taken the above advice, and it worked: you reach the interview process. Don't be shy and forget to follow up afterwards. That just might prove to the company your interest is real. Telephone calls or emails will suffice, perhaps even a thank you letter if you feel it appropriate. That could be your foot in the door.

Follow these job search tips and you could be in a retail job in no time.


Visit retail gigs your foremost authority on finding jobs in the retail industry. Also and MSN jobs sites have more information on the above material.



By: Samantha Taylor

Samantha is a Boston, Massachusetts native. Her studies have taken her from Ohio to England, where she lived for two years. Currently, Samantha lives in Andalucía, Spain, with her husband, and works as an English teacher and personal trainer in her spare time.


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