Online Job Shopping

You survived Black Friday, now it's Cyber Monday so our attention turns to online shopping (for a job of course). As the ceremonial kick-off of the online holiday shopping season, the fact that Cyber Monday is even a common term shows how integral the internet is to our lives.

The internet is a great tool for shopping for stuff and a job, but also has the same negatives for both.

• There is way too much information. Search for a term and generally there are thousands of results, you need a way to sort through and edit all of the info.

• Everyone worldwide has access to and is using the same system you are. Especially when you're using a job board like Monster.com, there are a lot of different things posted and a lot of people respond to each post. For any given position, hundreds or even thousands of people could be applying.

• It's very key word driven. You've probably encountered a situation where you couldn't find quite the right key words to pull up the thing you're looking for. That happens with job postings and resumes too, if you're not entering the right key word, or using the right key word on your resume, the info may not be found.

• It's impersonal. Don't get me wrong, I shop online a lot. You can get great deals and don't have to brave the crowds. But I also like to go to local shops where I can meet with and talk to real live people. Job hunting is the same--you want to be a real live person rather than a piece of paper to a potential employer.

So what's a cyber job shopper to do? Use the internet as the tool that it is. Take advantage of the access to a wide variety of positions, information, research resources, and ease of contacting potential employers. But it should only be one tool in your arsenal, along with personal networking, connecting through organizations, following local job boards, and pursuing companies that you've identified as a good fit for you.