As a typical 21 year old university student, it should come as no surprise that the Internet plays a big role in my life. From reading the news online, to making weekend plans via Facebook, or setting up a conference call over Skype, the Internet is a tool I’ve grown up with. Many post-secondary students today don’t remember the days of wandering the streets armed with hard copies of their resume or scanning the pages of a newspaper looking for the magic words: “We’re hiring!”
Having successfully landed summer internships over the past five years in a number of different industries, I wanted to share a few of the things I’ve learned along the way in conducting an online job search.
1. Start with top employer lists. If you have no idea where to start, a list like Canada’s Top 100 (http://canadastop100.com) can help you figure out what companies would be a good fit for you. Take a look at the judging criteria and see how companies have ranked in the past. Are they moving up or down the rankings? How do the benefits they offer compare to others in the industry?
2. Access career portals or other job portals. Many universities and colleges have dedicated career portals with postings available to students or recent graduates. These portals are particularly useful, as employers are often targeting students from a certain school. Other job portals are industry-specific, like FreshGigs.ca, which can save you time and make your search more efficient. Some portals even include a map so you can easily see where a company is located, any nearby amenities and accessibility to public transport.
3. Get LinkedIn. Take advantage of the “Who’s viewed my profile?” feature to see if any recruiters have recently looked up your name on LinkedIn. Search for common connections, and encourage others in your network to help introduce you to the right people. Look up current or past employees of a company you’re interested in and reach out to learn about their experiences. Update your tagline to show that you’re actively looking for employment, and keep your profile up-to-date using keywords.
Use the Internet to your full advantage. The information is already out there, so why not use it to make your job search more efficient? It sure is better than hitting the streets and cold calling companies who aren’t even hiring.
Written by Katherine Wong Too Yen. Follow Katherine @kwongtooyen