Digital Job Search Strategies
Anyone looking for a job these days naturally looks primarily in the digital realm. Professional social media sites such as LinkedIn and Xing, as well as community sites such as the Alumniportal Deutschland, not only help with finding out about job opportunities. They are also great tools for connecting with people in your field and learning about future employers. But so many options for job searching online can get overwhelming. These three strategies will help you clean up your search and be more productive with your time.
Manage your time and notifications
There is a never-ending number of websites for job searching that let you subscribe to get job alerts via newsletters, notifications, or similar. Although it may be tempting to subscribe to all the sites and notifications, this may end up distracting you from doing the “real” work – writing applications. Do not let yourself get overwhelmed with all the websites, offers, notifications, etc.
When you are actively looking for a job, plan on spending 1-2 hours a day looking for positions to apply to. After that, spend the rest of your time putting the applications together. Sign up for the most important email notifications so you only need to check email in the morning instead of logging into all the different sites you used to search for positions. However, keep the number of emails you sign up for to a bare minimum. And remember, you should not assume you have to spend all of your time applying to jobs. Although that is vital, so is taking breaks to use your time to upskill through online courses.
Center your search around companies
Most job seekers tend to look for open positions, not necessarily companies they may be interested in working for. Both perspectives are important. Most professional social media allow you to look at a specific page where the company introduces itself, the work it does, etc. You can get an idea of who works for this employer and what their career paths were before they started working at the company. This information gives a relatively broad yet still detailed overview of the company and can help you decide if you would like to include it in your search.
Sometimes you can even sign up for alerts from specific employers. This also helps you get a better grasp on the labour market by showing you which companies you might work for, but it also helps you concentrate on applying to fitting positions, instead of just any position that seems remotely applicable to your skill set.
Netiquette when job searching from abroad
When you are looking for a job in Germany but you are living abroad, it is vital that you convey your language skills and location honestly in your digital profiles. If you speak German (or other languages), many platforms offer the opportunity to create a profile in multiple languages. This way you can signal to employers that you do speak the language. With location, instead of changing it to a city in Germany where you do not live, keep your location honest and accurate with where you are at the moment. You can use the summary section on profiles to show your interest or plans to work in Germany. Last, check with the universities you have attended about alumni that may work in Germany, and reach out to them about their careers. This is not about asking them for a job, but getting to know them and about their experiences.
To sum up, focus on what is most important when searching for a job online: create a time-efficient job search strategy, narrow in on companies instead of position openings, and mind international job seeking etiquette. Make your job hunt with social media a useful instrument, not a distraction!
Who is Jessica Schüller?
Jessica Schüller is a graduate student and Erasmus Mundus fellow in the Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MaRIHE) program at Tampere University in Finland and Danube University Krems in Austria. She plans on returning to the US to pursue a doctoral degree in educational policy and administration, but intends on cultivating a binational career, moving between Germany and the US. Regardless of where she ends up, she anticipates keeping research about Germany and collaborations with Germans at the forefront of her career. You can learn more about her work and connect with her here: