Job Search Myth 1.05: Applying for Jobs Online Really Works

Executive Job Search Myth Buster
Yes, it’s time for another Executive Job Search Myth Buster:


“Submitting my résumé online to 10 employers every morning increases my chances of getting hired.”


If my math is right (bear with me, I majored in English), after 10 days you will have mailed out 100 copies of your résumé. Here’s the problem: There aren’t 100 jobs out there that are right for you. You could be the right person for a couple, or maybe three jobs … but 100?

Applying for dozens of jobs online is not an effective way to find work. Even if you come across a description supposedly tailored to your experience, and even if your application or résumécontains all the keywords found in the job ad, the odds of getting a response are close to zero. Why? Because the value you will bring to your next employer won’t impress the online form you completed. Applicant tracking systems aren’t smart enough (or human enough) to process you correctly.

My Advice:

Stop lobbing applications into those big impersonal job sites, and start marketing and networking your way into the right job. What does the right job look like? It’s the work you want to do and are qualified to do at the company where you want to do it. First thing tomorrow morning, jot down the names of three companies you would love to work for – just a few you admire and believe in, no more, and research each one (whether or not they have an advertised job opening). Find out about the company’s goals and needs, and who works there. The Internet can really help you out here.

Then brand yourself for the role in the company you want. Put a human voice in your résumé to bring across your power and potential, not to mention your personality. Do the same in your ExecuNet and LinkedIn profile. If you’re interested in some personal help, let me know. I can refer you to an amazing coach, and the initial consultation won’t cost you a thing.

This is extremely important: don’t leave it to an application form or your résumé to make your case to your possible next boss. Get someone who knows the person who is doing the hiring to help you. Make it someone the hiring manager trusts. Becoming friendly with someone who will give you the real low-down on the company’s needs and who can refer you to the decision maker is far and away the most effective way to get the job you want. It sure beats trolling job boards in your pajamas.

Would you like an executive recruiter’s perspective on what many of the most successful executives do when it’s time to navigate a job transition? Read 5 ways successful executives find great jobs.

I hope you’re blessed with many opportunities today.


Anthony Vlahos

Anthony Vlahos

Tony Vlahos is the Chief Marketing Officer of ExecuNet. Since 2014, he has hosted the original web series ExecuNet Master Class. Tony interviews the world’s top business thinkers, writers, and leaders.

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