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Boycott Internet Job Searching-Get A Job Faster The Old Fashioned Way

By Edited Nov 23, 2015 9 8

Have you been searching for a job using the Internet, job boards and online applications with little to no success? If you are tired of wasting your time trying to find a job online, don't despair; using the pre-computer method worked for the millions of people who had employment before the Internet was even invented .

Don't get me wrong, I adore the Internet. However, something is rotten with the entire system when it comes to finding a job. As a vintage baby boomer, I am here to spread the word that you do not need to rely strictly on your computer to find jobs. What started out as a practical way to connect to company openings has turned into a lot of time wasting, personal intrusion, poor communication and plain old frustration for the average job seeker.

How Did People Find A Job Before The Internet?

It was called pounding the pavement back then

Depending on how old you are, you may recall examples of the job seeking father "pounding the pavement" with briefcase in hand as he went from business to business trying to offer his services to a potential employer.

Before the Internet, the local newspaper was the source you used to check openings. Even though you might be competing with others for the same job, you could go in, fill out an application, then be invited immediately to sit down with the manager.

It was this personal, face-to-face time that got you the job. Chemistry matters! They didn't care about your credit report. You had a chance to dazzle a real person with your enthusiasm, wit, skills and personality.

My Own Secret Sauce For Old Fashioned Job Hunting

When I was a teenager, I easily found jobs in two ways; the cold call method and the drop by method. Both of these methods still get me jobs today.


Gather your supplies: A phone book, a telephone, a pen & paper

Go through the phone book and make a wishlist of the companies you would like to work for jotting down their number. Pick five or ten, it doesn't matter. Call each one and ask if they have any openings in your preferred job title. You will get three responses:

  • No, I'm sorry, we don't
  • No, but you're welcome to come in a fill out an application
  • Yes, as a matter of fact we do!

Of course, you can get numbers online if you want to, but only call places that are not advertising help wanted.

The drop by is simply showing up in person and asking if they have any job openings. This is how I got my bank teller job, group home job, all my retail jobs and nursing home job offers. I would rather spend time making ten or twenty quick phone calls for a chance to be a lone applicant, then wasting all day online filling out an application that may or may not be acknowledged by a real person.

Why It Works So Well

  1. You are the only applicant, so no competition!
  2. The hiring manager is relaxed and receptive. They haven't been bombarded with hundreds of applicants.

Employers Using The Internet For Blackhat Recruiting

On some search sites; especially for domestic help, nursing or caregivers, you will find postings that advertise full-time positions that don't exist. Agencies do this to get you in the door, then when you ask about the position you applied for, they will mention that the client is in the hospital. You will then be offered a part time position. Bait and switch.

You will apply for a receptionist position and find out at the interview that you are also expected to drive a bus. The advertised 3pm to 11pm shift three nights per week is really a 4pm to 9pm shift five nights per week.

Employers Are Using The Internet To Demand More And Private Information

The truth is that computers have allowed companies to erect huge walls in front of applicants all in the name of pre-screening. They want everything up front before they are even willing to speak to you; references, background check, consumer reports.

There is vast potential to have your security threatened by constantly filling out intrusive online applications. What happens to this information? It is a real concern.

In the past, no employer asked for anything personal until a job offer was made. Applicant privacy was respected. There was a secure feeling that private information was needed only to maintain employee records.

Your Time Is Valuable-Consider It Carefully

Tired at the computer
When you consider how much time it takes to create a new cover letter, fill out your entire job history, your education, references and tweak your resume, you might as well just fill out a paper application in person.

If you have the luxury, try to avoid companies that even have an online application system. There are many companies online that have applications that force you to enter your age range, salary requirements, social security number, race, gender and nationality.

As time goes by, many companies are outsourcing applications making it incredibly difficult to connect to the hiring manager. Example:

Indeed.com advertises a full-time cleaner position for a local hospital in New Jersey, a few blocks from your house. You click on the apply button where you are taken to a company located in Georgia.  You are forced to create a user account and password.

After filling out the tediously long application, you click send and are taken to yet another website where you are yet again forced to create another user account and password to take a personality test or your application is null.

If you pass the test, the results are forwarded to Georgia where they decide if you are good enough to pass on to their client in New Jersey. Folks, this is a HUGE waste of time. Don't let these lazy corporations run you through the ringer.

The worst culprits are national franchise chains, large corporations and retail conglomerates. If you can, stay away from any company that makes an applicant run through hoops to apply for even the lowest-level job.

10 Reasons To Boycott Internet Job Searching

When you decide to stop relying on advertised computer based employment searches, you will gain a few perks.

  1. No more bait and switch recruitment tactics.
  2. No more applying to jobs that have a fresh post date, but were actually created months ago and long filled.
  3. No more creating thousands of applicant profiles, user names and passwords.
  4. No more being forced to give out unnecessary private information about your credit, age or nationality.
  5. No more being herded into a room full of competitors for a group interview.
  6. No more bursting email inboxes full of job alerts located 500 miles from your home.
  7. No more worrying about how much of your personal business is being stored on cookies, sold to marketing firms or stolen.
  8. No more feeling powerless against competitors. You will have the advantage.
  9. You will see and talk to a real human and they will see and talk to you.
  10. You will discover how many wonderful job opportunities are out there that are not advertised.

Life Before The Internet Was Work As Usual

I understand that many jobs offer no option but to apply online. We are forced to do it that way. We cant always find businesses that still offer paper applications, but they are out there. Depending on what you do, there is still an opportunity to find employers that offer a simpler application process.

They are well worth seeking out if you are sick and tired of high-tech job hunting. Whenever I find an employer that has a simple one-page application, I just want to hug their neck and say thank you!

For younger readers that cannot imagine how life flowed without computers and the Internet, I want to say that roads were paved, burgers were flipped, gas was pumped, houses were built, groceries were bagged and workers found these jobs without the Internet.



Sep 12, 2015 4:56am
I have attended some career workshops over the summer, and the biggest piece of information I took away was it was not what you know it is who you know...NETWORK! (Yes, old fashioned advice!)

You cannot do that online, you must go into the world and make yourself known in your area of expertise. You also need to tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job, as that person may have a connection for you.
Sep 12, 2015 9:23am
Thank you for adding the networking tip! It does work. Just recently, one of my previous employers asked us at a meeting if we knew anyone who was interested in applying to the company.

As a teen, if I saw a friend working for a company that I liked as well, I would ask if they were hiring. They would ask their manager for me, mention my interest and tell me to use their name as a referral.

You cant beat person-to-person referrals. It can even make things easier for the employer.

Nov 28, 2015 2:54am
There are some shops in my area that give bonuses to employees that refer people they know (if they are hired).
Sep 12, 2015 11:05am
I like the idea of old fashioned job searching but there are businesses, in my area, that won't give you a second glance unless you apply online. Fortunately with a recent job search, the job I was looking for was advertised in the window. I was contacted rather quickly and got the job on the spot.

Am planning on utilizing these tasks for a future search. Thanks for sharing this useful article.
Sep 12, 2015 11:36am
Young people who grew up with the internet often assume that there is no world beyond cyberspace, but you can always find creative solutions by thinking outside the (computer) box.

Great article!
Sep 27, 2015 9:32am
Absolutely sound advice here. And you truly stand out if you "show up in person." Like you, I believe chemistry matters. And some resumes sound better than the person that shows up (or vice versa). Plus, you look "ready to work" by physically coming to the workplace. Excellent article.
Nov 22, 2015 7:02pm
Thank you! Great advice. It is almost impossible to get a job through the online process. Trust me, I have wasted my time with several.
Nov 28, 2015 2:56am
What I don't understand with many of these online applications is employers want a Social Security number long before they hire. The teens in my family were applying for jobs, we told them, if they ask your SSN online during the application process, don't apply there.

Excellent tips and points, good read. Thumbed and pinned.
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