Most people do find their positions through some form of networking. So, I don’t recommend that you spend more than 25% of your available job search time applying to positions on-line. HOWEVER, you still need to keep your eye on job postings so you can jump on it when something good does come up.
One of the things that my clients find frustrating is having to tailor their resumes and cover letters to each job posting. When I write resumes, I include important keywords and phrases that are commonly found in the types of positions to which my clients will be applying. However, every job is different, so you might need to do a little tweaking so that your wording matches the posting.
Here are some suggestions for how you can do that efficiently.
1) Find 3-4 job descriptions for “ideal positions”, even if they’re located outside of your region. You can do this by searching www.indeed.com without specifying a zipcode. Review the job descriptions carefully. Do you have the required skills and requirements? What buzzwords or technical competencies are being requested?
2) Now, make sure your basic resume includes the keywords that are found in those job descriptions. One way to do this is by highlighting the most frequently used nouns and skills words on the job description. Another way to do it is by using a word cloud generator (see # 3).
3) To create a “word cloud” from the words in the job description, cut and paste the words from the body of the job description into a free on-line word cloud generator. I personally like the site www.tocloud.com. What you’ll get is a picture of the words in the job description with the words used more frequently showing up in a larger font. Better yet, the words from the job description are alphabetized, giving you a handy reference when you’re tweaking your cover letter or resume.
For more information on using a word cloud generator, download my short presentation here http://www.careeredge.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Using-Word-Clouds1.pdf.