What are the downsides to jobseeking online?

If you’re using any job sites you’re not familiar with, it's important to exercise a degree of caution. Alongside a large number of reputable and well-known job sites, there are unfortunately also plenty of scammers out there waiting to exploit hapless jobseekers. Get Safe Online has a useful list of the main risks and the measures you can take to protect yourself. If you’re applying for a job directly on an employer’s website, you shouldn’t have too much cause for concern but, as with all your dealings on the Internet, if you’re giving away personal details, make sure the site is secure.

Less distressing but frustrating nevertheless, the lack of direct human contact in online application processes can be a problem for some jobseekers. There’s usually no one to ask whether your application has arrived, or to chase for further information on the job or for feedback. 

Also, online job ads that are easy to find are… well, easy to find. That means there’s more competition than ever before for all the jobs. 

And a final word of caution: just because applying online takes a few clicks of a mouse, don’t take that as a signal to come over all slapdash and lazy. One thing the Internet hasn’t changed is that human beings will still be carefully reading what you write on your application, so you need to think as long and hard as ever and make it the best you can. Whizzing an identikit application over to 50 employers before lunch may give you a smug sense of efficiency, but will almost certainly win you no prizes. 


Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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