An article in today's Wall Street Journal on job search Web sites illuminates the potential of such tools for your job search -- but gives short shrift to their shortcomings.
I've observed a tendency among students to rely on job search sites too heavily in their efforts -- to the detriment of their overall job search process. It's a trap I fell into myself in searching for work over the last several years.
Consider the appeal: you sit comfortably at your desk, a computer screen filled with listings for jobs. A few clicks later, you've applied for the job. And on it goes until you've exhausted all available options for that day. Satisfaction soon sets in, as you can rest comfortably knowing that you've exerted maximum effort in your job search that day.
Nothing can be further from the truth. Searching for a job in normal times is tough; in these extraordinary economic conditions, the process is even more difficult. If you really want a job, you must be willing to use a variety of tools to identify appropriate opportunities. That means you must go beyond your comfort zone, get away from your desk and the computer, connect with others, meet strangers, and try things you normally might not if you're serious.
Do people get jobs by applying for positions listed on job sites? Absolutely. Should you continue to peruse such listings, and apply for appropriate opportunities? Definitely. Should you limit the time you spend on such efforts? Yes! Yes! Yes!