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Chasing Cars - What do you do when you catch one?

Expanded conversation on how to pursue jobs on Indeed.com

Chasing Cars – What do you do when you catch one?

By In Blog On April 2, 2017


This started on LinkedIn as a simple post about the fact that Indeed is a great source for finding jobs but it’s also a pretty crowded space.  Everyone’s using Indeed to find jobs and apply to them, often as many as they can.  The website makes it easy to track down opportunities and fill out applications.  However there are much better ways to use Indeed.  As a headhunter, I use it myself, though obviously I never apply to jobs there for my candidates.  For me, Indeed is all about information.  Here’s how I describe it in Chapter 2 of the book:

“Indeed.com is a simple job listing aggregation website. It scours the internet looking for job listings that come directly from company websites, search firm websites, job boards and online publications. It is easy to use, only requiring the most general information for basic searches (keywords, title, company name, city, state or zip code). Advanced searches allow you to be more specific and add filters.  You can setup a free account that will allow you to save searches and receive daily or weekly updates via email. It is like Google for jobs, even in appearance. Like any website, it’s good to experiment. I use Indeed.com to quickly see if there are any listed openings within the disciplines and locations that interest me. Typically I search by job title(s) and location.”

Easy right?  So what?  Lots of information.  (More from Chapter 2):

“I have no doubt that there are millions of job seekers and other headhunters searching Indeed.com for jobs too. Since I am working with candidates trying to find positions with existing or potentially new clients, I never apply to any of the jobs I find. My goal is to see who is doing what and where.

I am not recommending that Karen or Anthony (meet Karen and Anthony here) apply to jobs they find there either at this time. Applying online can end up being a black-hole kind of process resulting in a lot of effort and little return. Everyone is applying online and most are using a shotgun approach to blast out resumes by the hundreds. It can be a lot of work and, more importantly, it creates a lot of work. Have you ever considered where all of the resumes and online applications go? While you may be doing your homework and only applying for jobs that you are qualified to do, many people are not, they are just applying to everything. The end result is that your resume and everyone else’s go through a system, some more complex than others.

Large companies have very sophisticated databases and software that actually reads resumes for keywords before either forwarding them to an internal recruiter in human resources or not. In smaller organizations the link you click to apply online may generate an email to a human resources person who receives all of the resumes, applications and cover letters directly. Other job postings will literally have an email address at the bottom which will attract not only resumes but also all sorts of spam and other junk mail. At the end of this, maybe, your resume will find itself in front a live human resources person who probably has hundreds of other resumes to review and measure against a likely generic job description. Ideally this is not where you want to be but it is often the best result of the process. Certainly this is not where I would want any of my candidates to end up. While people do get jobs this way, the odds of getting noticed are long, regardless of qualifications and experience, and getting applicable feedback is next to impossible. Chances are you won’t even get a reply. No feedback equals no opportunity to calibrate your search or improve your efforts either!

For now, we’re just going to use Indeed.com to find jobs, read the listings and learn about the titles, responsibilities, language and requirements. When paired with what we’re also learning by reading company websites and other resources, understanding the job postings helps complete the basic picture of our target jobs. Even if you’re a professional and have a great understanding of what you do, how you do it and for whom, this exercise can help you figure out if other people see and express things the way you do. We’re going to use the information we get in job postings from Indeed.com in the next steps to clarify our understanding of the jobs we’re after, refine our lists and develop specific contacts.”

What do you do next?

That’s part of the point of this post.  Note the part of the quote above in bold:  “My goal is to see who is doing what and where.”  That quote signifies that exploring job listings on Indeed is only one step in an overall process and it has its purpose.  However, everyone’s doing it and the “shotgun” approach to applying for jobs on Indeed that they’re also doing probably isn’t that effective.  It’s certainly not personalized or targeted, and won’t set you apart from the pack.

That brings us to the other point I wanted to make:   There’s a lot of good advice available about cover letters, resumes and interviews as parts of a job search, however, it pays to have a comprehensive strategy that covers every step of the process. That’s why I wrote Modern Job Search – and made it accessible with a narrative structure, step-by-step guidance and a real “value based” approach. Check it out: The entire first chapter is free to read on Amazon

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