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CareersOnline job search engines have transformed the way people contact potential employers. The process of applying for a job through these engines is often as easy as uploading a resume or pasting your professional details into an online form. However, with automation, it is easy to forget the basics. Here is a look at the do’s and don’ts for effective online job search.

Do ‘personal branding’. Good salesmanship is required for every job because you have to ‘sell’ yourself to the recruiter. Create an impressive (but truthful) online profile that highlights your experience, achievements and skills and be precise, coherent and relevant.

Do update your profile regularly.  Keep updating your relevant skills, trainings and project experiences so your profile remains current. Widen your network by adding HR professionals, recruiters and hiring managers.

Do keep a record of the jobs that you have applied for. You should do this in order to avoid repetition; sending your resume to the same company multiple times will reflect poorly on your organisational skills and professionalism.

Don’t apply for every job. Consider a job’s specification and suitability before applying. Some jobs may not be for you, so don’t waste your time or the recruiter’s.

Don’t answer every interview call. Research the job and company before accepting an interview call. You don’t want to land up for an interview at a questionable organisation.

Don’t circulate your personal details. Be discerning about which portals you use for job searches and don’t give out your personal details (including your address, NIC and passport numbers, salary etc) indiscriminately.

Don’t panic. Making frequent follow up phone calls and sending reminder e-mails can be annoying for the head hunter/recruiter – so avoid this. This shows maturity and patience and reflects positively on your ‘personal brand’. It is generally acceptable to send a follow up e-mail or make a call after at least 10 working days.

– Monica Peter
The writer is an HR Consultant & Trainer and can be contacted via LinkedIn. monica@talentexperts.biz

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on November 24, 2013.