Better Jobs: 4 ways to go beyond the online job search

If job seekers approach their hunt by casting a wide net and applying for everything, they might be doing it wrong. The traditional wisdom of being open for anything could be keeping people out of work.

Narrow the search:

A career coach says it's better to zero in on a specific industry or type of job.

"The number one, absolute thing is a lack of focus. People who are looking for a job basically say I'm a really good worker, and I'm sure they are, and I'm just looking for a good job. And so at that point, they are very unappealing to the prospective employer," career coach Helen Horyza said.

Before sending out a resume, those looking for a job should think about what they want to be doing, and their own skillset and experience. Those interviewing for a job in a field they are interested in, will show passion during the job interview that the employer will notice.

Job-specific job posting sites:

Once the field of interest is narrowed, consider more specific job-posting sites.

This approach is how Geneva Thornton was able to find a job she loves in California, while living in her former hometown of St. Louis. She said she found her current position on the industry specific site Transportation.com.

Network, network, network:

One of the career coaches said even with the number of online job sites, more than 75 percent of people are hired through networking.

"Only about 20 percent of the actual jobs are (online), so I see applicants only focusing on the online application, they're missing 75-80 percent of the hidden jobs that are out there," career counselor Diana Conwell said. "So many times someone's saying, 'Hey did you know Sally's leaving? Well my brother-in-law is really looking for something', and people are coming in through the backdoor rather than the front door to get the job."

Use online sites to their full potential:

Don't forget about LinkedIn. Aside from posting a resume on the site, join specific industry groups to help make connections.

Also check out professional associations online in a field of interest.

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