If there is one thing a reluctant job seeker needs, it’s this: someone or something that deals with all the cruddy aspects of the job search.
No time for sifting through all the online listings to find ones that match your interests, skills and experience? Hate tailoring cover letters for each job application you send off?
No problem! There’s an app for that. Kind of.
While there’s no magic job search widget that is sure to secure you an interview for your dream job, there are a couple of different ways you can outsource your job search and avoid spending time finding and pursuing leads that might not work.
Some people will tell you that outsourcing your job search is a horrible idea. Others will encourage you to explore it. Ultimately, it’s your call. But if you do want to minimize the time you spend before landing interviews, here are some resources you should know about and anecdotes from people who have done it successfully.
Automate, Automate, Automate
MyJobHunter.com is all about automating. You sign up, search all the major job search sites from their interface, check the listings you like, add your resume and cover letter one time, and it will do all the applying for you. It also allows you to activate a feature that will automatically find and apply to new jobs on your behalf. Since a computer is doing the searching, the cost is relatively low — $39.95 for the first month and then $9.95 per month after that.
As you can imagine, the computer doesn’t always get it right. One unemployed sales guy signed up for the service, and MyJobHunter.com sent his resume for a stylist job at the hair salon where his wife works. But the service ultimately did help him land a job even though he was unaware he had applied for it when he was called up for the interview, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Your Man (Or Woman) in India
That same WSJ piece also mentions JobSerf.com, which has been around since 2006. If the idea of a computer sending your resume out willy-nilly irks you, this could be a good alternative.
The company simply outsources the online job searching and applying to its staff in India. Depending on the package you choose, it’ll cost you either $49 or $98 per week. You send them up to five cover letters along with your resume and they will ship ‘em out to jobs they identify based on a data request when you first sign up. Cultural misunderstandings can arise, as the Journal article points out. But the service worked for one About.com writer who got “a couple of responses from employers” after just two weeks.
Legit Jobs for the Gig Economy
The workplace is a’changin’. We’re in the midst of a freelance surge, full of job jugglers and folks who are creating their own jobs. If you’re in this category, FlexJobs might be the answer. Anyone who has looked for a part-time or work-from-home position knows that many times “telecommute” in a job posting actually means scam. FlexJobs aims to solve that problem, by doing the vetting for you and listing “real” flexible jobs.
Back in April, Chelsea Gladden used the site, which costs $14.95 per month, to find a part-time position. “With all the positions hand-screened for me, it was almost as if I got a lot of the ‘pounding the pavement’ part out of the way,” Gladden says, who did not have a lot of time for job searching with five kids at home. She got a freelance writing job “immediately.” Then just a week later, FlexJobs announced they were looking for a director of marketing and PR. The timing was perfect for Gladden who was hired for the position.
Ye Olde Social Network
We all know social networks can be an integral part of the job search — even if you outsource it. If you have the right connections, you can just crowdsource for your next position. Asking your Facebook friends for a job is certainly the lowest cost way to go about your hunt, and it can be very effective. Freelance screenwriter Natalia Lusinski says that working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles means she’s often seeking positions that are word-of-mouth. “I have found many through posting a Facebook status telling people I am searching and what I am looking for. Each time I have done this, it has worked – someone has always known someone else looking for just the job I am seeking,” she wrote in an email.