A few years back, one of the best ways to look for a job was going out in person to different companies and employers.
In the current fast-paced internet era, this seems to be changing. Job search has been simplified by online platforms where you can interact with future employers and recruiters.
While some people are lucky to find their next job through friends, family or existing networks, for many others finding a job is an uphill task. Online job search resources, now more than ever before, have become the most potent avenues to ditch unemployment.
The Internet has become an essential part of any job search. But with so many resources available online, it can be difficult to know where to begin and how to use them effectively.
Here are some strategies that you can use to enhance your virtual job search.
Many Kenyan Colleges and Universities have alumni programs that help their old students make connections. For this reason, connecting with alumni and others with ties to a particular school can be the key to a successful online job search.
Research shows that 70% of job vacancies are not published publicly on jobs sites and up to 80% of positions are filled through networking.
According to the University of Nairobi Alumni Association, listed below are the benefits of joining an alumni association.
Online job searches may look easy and fast but you can develop a habit of searching for the same roles again and again yet not yielding results. It’s good to try new keywords sometimes.
Using new keywords could be a way to bring up some fresh opportunities for you. For example, one organisation’s ‘managing editor’ might be an ‘editorial manager’ in another.
Here are a couple of other examples of job titles and what they may be called across the industry:
It’s always a good idea to look out for other places doing similar work to what you’re searching for. Don’t only stick to one or a few options.
Most online job searches normally have an option to search by an organization to enable you to see whether there are other similar options in other companies. You can do that by using specific keywords and/or filtering the search results by location.
If the organizations are not hiring at that time, you can choose to add them to your future employer list and keep refreshing to check whether they have posted new jobs.
You can also do your research on the different employers online and read through their company websites or social media pages. This will come in handy in helping you determine if the job you are looking for and the one that is posted is genuine and also what to expect in case you land an interview.
The Internet is at your disposal so you better use it to your advantage. Websites such as Campoe, LinkedIn, Brighter Monday, CareerPoint Kenya, Job Web Kenya, Advance Africa Jobs, Fuzu, MyJobMag, Summit Recruitment among many others post jobs on a daily basis.
Online job sites in Kenya are increasingly becoming popular with the growth of the internet. These websites provide listings of jobs throughout Kenya and even outside Kenya. If you utilize them well they can greatly increase your chances of getting a job.
You can actually set up your profile with more than one job listing site to ensure that you never miss out on jobs once they go live.
Among other things, these sites allow job seekers to create job search notifications or alerts through their emails that push email notifications whenever new jobs that match the user’s search criteria are posted.
Also, be advised that genuine employers do not charge you for online job applications nor do they charge you for the interview process. Be careful of fraudsters and scammers in the online space as well.
It is advisable to set up Google and LinkedIn job alerts for your specific keywords and be assured of a daily digest of available jobs mentioning the selected keyword.
Most people become frustrated after applying for several jobs to no avail. Job search expert, Biron Clark estimates that only 2% - 3% of job applications result in an interview.
Therefore, online job seekers have to step up their game by searching and applying as frequently as they can to increase their odds.
Jill Tipograph, the cofounder of Early Stage Careers, a career consulting firm that specializes in career coaching for college students and graduates adds,
“In this market, postings are taken down quickly; be careful to store these posts and your applications. If you do not apply, others will, and these become potential lost opportunities. And since offers can be rescinded at the last minute, it is best to be in the game continually.”
A 2021 study published in the journal Administration and Policy in Mental Health titled Unemployment, and Behavioral Health Conditions: The Need for Supported Employment¹ showed that extended periods of unemployment and underemployment can cause a significant amount of stress.
Researchers found that some graduates even get to the point of totally abandoning the job search. To prevent this, college students or recent graduates can focus on taking one step at a time. Set small personal daily goals and tap yourself on the back whether you achieve them or not. You can always hope for a better tomorrow.
These small daily goals can include researching available employers, companies, and careers you might be interested in. It can also be networking and building connections at least with one person every few days or building your online presence.
In Kenya, many job advertisements require one to be part of a professional body that is related to their work.
Joining a professional association can be very beneficial to you because it can help you get a better understanding of your field through training and also provides you with networking opportunities.
According to Lucy Murugi, a human resource expert at Corporate Staffing Services, it is very beneficial for all job seekers and professionals to join these professional bodies.
In addition to keeping you in the know about career fairs, workshops, and events in your field and area, membership also gives you contact and access to other members.
Some of the Professional Bodies in Kenya include;
Job hunting can in many ways be an opportunity for you to learn and grow. So as you seek that job, be open to learning, unlearning, and re-learning. You want to exxcel and grow through the ranks once you land that opportunity - so make the journey worth the while.
All the best!
¹Drake, R. E., Sederer, L. I., Becker, D. R., & Bond, G. R. (2021). COVID-19, Unemployment, and Behavioral Health Conditions: The Need for Supported Employment. Administration and policy in mental health, 48(3), 388–392. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-021-01130-w