Once upon a time, networking actually took place in person. Of course, it still does today but with the advent of the internet and the popularity of social media, people all over Canada have gotten used to developing what they call “relationships” online. Your job search, however, should take a different approach. That is, of course, if you truly want to land a career opportunity that is an excellent fit for you both yourself and the company.

Do you have a tendency to apply for every somewhat-decent opportunity you see posted online?

If so, not only are you wasting your time applying to jobs that may not even be what you’re looking for, you’re likely to go unnoticed by the majority of the employers you apply to anyway. Online job postings receive anywhere from 70 and 300 applicants. So, if you like being a faceless one out of 300 people, feel free to keep applying to jobs online.

Unless you plan on never meeting your future boss in person, applying for jobs online is just fine. But, in all seriousness, to locate the right job for you, you’ll have to do some actual legwork. Showing up in person to a business immediately separates you from the hundreds of others who are only represented by their digital correspondence.

On TheMuse.com, Jenny Foss lists spending 100 percent of your time submitting online applications as the number one job search tactic to stop immediately.

“If trolling the job boards is your primary search tactic, you’re looking at a long road ahead,” she warns, “Realize that, for every job you pursue, at least one or two people are going to find an ‘in’ at that company. And they’re going to use that ‘in’ to get a direct introduction. Would you rather be the one with the ‘in,’ or one of the other 20, 80, or 400 contenders coming in via the automated ‘clump’ of applicants?”

Some recruitment experts don’t believe in online applications at all.

Founder and CEO of Human Workplace, Liz Ryan is vehemently against online job searches. She points out that if businesses were to treat customers the way they did job seekers, they’d be out of business within weeks. After all, who would choose to fill out endless forms in order to purchase a product? Ryan considers putting a job applicant through the online application process to be bad treatment. It most often proves to be a fruitless venture.

“The bad treatment starts when someone applies for a job,” she writes in a LinkedIn article, “Anyone can tell how much your company values talent. All they have to do is look at the Careers section of your website and they’ll know everything they need to know. As a job-seeker, you’re wasting your time and energy applying for jobs online. Most applications sent through automated recruiting sites don’t get a glance.”

Combine online and offline job search efforts.

Applying for jobs online may not necessarily be a complete waste of time if you’re actually doing your due diligence to personally connect with the companies you apply to. Do your research, locate the names and numbers of hiring managers and get in touch. Separating yourself from the rest of the online pack of job applicants will help to bring greater success to your job search.