From a grad that’s been there and landed a job: Navigating online job postings

A guest post from UNC-CH graduate Courtney Miller.

Searching for job postings on the Internet should never be your ONLY job hunting activity. Jobs posted online usually receive many applicants due to ease of access. Even if you have stellar qualifications, it may be difficult to make yourself stand out among other recent graduates.
Most of the interviews I got were a result of direct contacts I made through networking, including the job I currently hold. I applied for nearly 100 jobs online. Out of the jobs I applied for online, I was offered the opportunity to interview at eight of those places and actually interviewed at six. I was offered a position at two, and neither would be considered full-time gigs. With that being said, I’m going to offer some advice to maximize job searching online.

  • Get advice and tips from alumni and professionals in your field on where to find postings. When you engage in networking activities with alumni or professionals in your industry, ask which Web sites are good to check for job searches. They may have some good insider-specific Web sites that aren’t widely publicized, which means less competition for you. If possible, try to join a local chapter of a professional organization. Many professional organizations offer exclusive online job postings.
  • Watch out for scams/fraudulent job postings. If a job posting sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Anything that reads, “Work from home and make $100,000 a month,” probably isn’t legit. Job scams are abundant on Web sites like, where any organization can post. If you see a posting from a company you’ve never heard of, check out the company’s Web site before you waste your time applying. If the Web site isn’t current or seems fishy, there may be a reason. You may also want to try typing in the name of the company and the word “scam” in the Google search box to see what comes up.
  • Consider moving the geographic location you want to find a job. If you want a job in New York City and your resume lists a Florida address, many employers will be weary of even bringing you in to interview. For jobs that have many qualified applicants, why would an employer pick a person who lives hundreds of miles away when there appears to be many qualified local candidates? In a down economy, employers don’t want to pay your travel or relocation costs. If you can’t afford to move to the city without a job, this blog suggests a few things to mention to get around this problem.
  • Social Media Postings. Set up a Twitter account and search for job Twitter accounts. Search by geographical location or industry. For example: DC Marketing Job Twitter: Also there are blogs that track industry job openings. One of my favorites is the DC Public Affairs + Communications Job Blog. I didn’t have as much success on Facebook; however I did know a lucky person who got a job at CNN from a Facebook posting, so it might be worth a try.
  • Create RSS Feeds for Job Postings. Setting up an RSS can save you searching time and brings you the information instead of the other way around. This Web site has some really great tips on how to create an RSS Feed that suits your job searching needs.
  • Create Job Search Agents. Take the time to visit the Web sites of the organizations you would like to work at the most. Even if they don’t have job postings that you’re interested in right now, many have the option of setting up a search agent that will e-mail you as soon as a new posting that fits your parameters is created.

One response to “From a grad that’s been there and landed a job: Navigating online job postings

  1. Courtney & Kelly – thanks for the reference to DCPA+CJ in the post above. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you all. Best wishes, GB.

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